Lauren vies to follow in Wayne Rooney’s footsteps

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ONE of Rugby’s brightest young stars has been shortlisted as one of the final contenders for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2011.

Previous winners have included Wayne Rooney, Andy Murray and Theo Walcott - and now golfer Lauren Taylor is in the running to take the title.

The BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award, now is in its tenth year, is awarded to an outstanding young sportsperson of the year, who was aged 16 or under on January 1, 2011.

Lauren, 17, of Crick Road, Hillmorton, said: “I’m really pleased. My dad rang me when I was in Abu Dhabi to tell me I’d been shortlisted and I thought ‘oh my God’.”

Lauren, who has just returned from Abu Dhabi where she came second in the Junior Golf Championship, was nominated by the English Women’s Golf Association for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year title. Her success has led to her amateur ranking shooting up to number 28 in the world.

The shortlist is drawn from the nominations by a panel of judges chaired by BBC Sport’s John Inverdale. The panel will meet again on Monday to shorten the list down to three contenders and then choose a winner by secret ballot.

The winner will be announced live at BBC Sports Personality of the Year, taking place this year at MediaCityUK, Salford Quays on Thursday, December 22.Lauren, the 2011 British Ladies’ Open Amateur Champion and the youngest ever winner of the accolade, said: “Hopefully I’ll make it to the final three but we’ll see what happens.”