Katy Mclean: England captain surprised by North East award
England's Rugby World Cup-winning captain Katy Mclean did not believe her achievements would put her in the running for the BBC North East Sports Personality of the Year award.
Mclean, 28, led England to the 2014 crown in August, beating Canada 21-9 in the Paris final.
It was the first time in 20 years the womens' side had lifted the trophy.
"I had no idea, I didn't even think I'd be in the mix for something like this," Mclean told BBC Look North.
"It's very rare that I'm caught without words but this is one of those occasions.
"England women hadn't won a World Cup for 20 years and we were starting to get to a point where we didn't think we ever would.
"We changed that and that was the biggest and best prize we could get."
Since helping the Red Rose to break their World Cup duck, Mclean has been drafted into the sevens squad, who have turned professional to bring paid rugby to the womens' game for the first time.
The fly-half, who plays her club rugby for Darlington Mowden Park, is proud of the team's achievements and hopes they will inspire other women and girls to play the game.
"It's not so much the changes for you, it's about the changes for the sport," Mclean added.
"That's the best thing about winning the World Cup, it's what it does for our game and especially the women's game.
"It's about getting more women into the sport, more young girls into the sport, if us doing that achieves that, it means more than any medal."