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Bexley rugby player enters pageant final

PUBLISHED: 14:33 04 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:33 04 November 2015

Blackheath player Toni Burrows Credit: Dan Crockford

Blackheath player Toni Burrows Credit: Dan Crockford

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The Blackheath Ladies player has been offered a place at the Face of the Globe pageant next April

Pageant finalist Toni BurrowsPageant finalist Toni Burrows

A Bexley rugby player has made the final of a world beauty pageant.

Toni Burrows, aged 27, of Woolwich Road, Abbey Wood reached the final after finishing runner-up in a competition in London earlier this year.

The beauty pageant finalist and Blackheath Women’s Rugby Club player spoke of where her love of the sport came from.

She said: “I first started training with a rugby club around 18 months ago after I saw an Aviva Premiership game.

“I just wanted to prove a point to people that I could do it. I was quite overweight, but now I’ve completely lost the weight.

“I feel like a completely different person, there’s no way I could have delivered a speech in front of a crowd of people before, but I did it this year at the pageant without a problem.

“There are misconceptions about the sort of women who play rugby, I just wanted to prove that anyone can play.”

Miss Burrows first appeared in pageants in her teens, but returned to the competition this year.

Following her success in London in August, she will now represent England as part of a team at the Face of the Globe in Paris next year.

The pageant has a diverse range of women involved showcasing a range of talent.

The 27-year-old explained: “They don’t have a bikini round, so they aren’t just judging contestants on what they look like.

“They judge on things like fundraising and fitness, as well as a talent round.

“I’m feeling really confident, I’ve got a reason to be there along with other contestants, some girls are just there to wear a crown.”

Part of the event asks contestants to raise funds for the pageant’s own charity, The Rainbow Foundation, which helps provide support for underprivileged children.

So far Miss Burrows has raised £485 for the foundation, and has received backing from former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio.

Miss Burrows will be representing England at the Face of the Globe next April

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