Rachael comes from a rugby family background. Indeed, rugby was a sport she was born to play concentrating on it from the age of just six. She performed in the same team as her mother, Renata, and her sister, Louise, for a season at Medway RFC, a club where Rachael spent the first 10 years of her career playing. And, to ensure that there was a full house of Burfords at Medway, dad Michael also played for them as did her brother, Reuben. Renata, Louise and Rachael can often be found serving together behind the bar on busy match days at Medway to this day.
Rachael was a product of Medway’s mini and youth sections and she has risen quickly since then, her talents being noticed early on in her life. She was selected to go to the Rugby Academy at Bath at the age of 16 before being advised to join a Premiership club to raise her experience levels. In 2006 Rachael picked up the coverted Medway Sports Personality Award.
So, it was off to Henley before she was picked for the England Under 19s, only for a couple of serious injuries meaning that nearly two seasons were lost. Thankfully, that did not put her back. A very talented Sevens player (she has skippered the England Sevens team), Rachael took part in the 2009 Sevens World Cup, her high spots including sharing in England’s Sevens triumph over Australia in the 2012 Hong Kong Sevens final.
The centre who plays for Thurrock these days has travelled the world with the sport she is so passionate about. She has spent time in Dubai, South Africa, Canada, France, Amsterdam, Prague, Rome, San Diego, Kinsale, China and Moscow.
The 2014 RBS Ladies 6 Nations Championship saw Rachael come up against another former Medway player, Deborah McCormack, as England took on Scotland. In the same year she was awarded the Rugby Players’ Association England women’s player-of the -year award and ending a run of three successive final defeats Rachael and England women win the Rugby World Cup with a hard fought 21-9 victory over Canada in Paris.
Rachael is now giving plenty back to the sport and is the rugby community coach for the RFU, working across rural Kent working to develop local rugby clubs.
Last updated: 2014