Vikings player’s pitchside proposal swaps rugby diamonds for engagement ring
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
A north Norfolk rugby player has put the 'prop' in proposal after he swapped crouching in a scrum for getting down on one knee.
North Walsham Vikings forward Lachlan Brown-Bates, 22, popped the question to fiancée Sarah Crooks, 19, after the side's 75-5 weekend home win, before celebrating with champagne and posing for a team photo.
Miss Crooks, from Sprowston, said her Australian fiancé's pitch-side proposal was a total surprise.
She said: 'I didn't have any idea.
'It was a really good game and he always come up and talks to me but he was being really awkward.
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'He just got down on one knee and said 'what do you reckon?'
'I was so shocked. Everyone was clapping and cheering and all these people were coming up to us.
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'I didn't think he'd do it in public - it was really unexpected.'
The pair, who live in Norwich, have been together for a year-and-a-half, after meeting in October 2017 through a rugby-playing friend of Miss Crooks' brother.
Miss Crooks, who works at a pub in Broadland, said: 'They were training in the same place. I was talking to my brother's friend, and Lachlan asked 'who's that?''
She added: 'We got together half-way through the December and we moved into our own flat in Norwich about six months ago.'
And Mr Brown-Bates, who is about to finish his second season as a loose-head prop, added: 'I bought the ring and was umming and ahhing about when to do it, so I decided to get it over and done.'
READ MORE: North Walsham win 75-5 in a match reduced to 60 minutesHe added: 'I gave it to one of my mates to bring me after the game.
'The whole idea - not the thought she'd say no - scared me.
'The night before I don't think I slept at all.'
And Miss Crooks, originally from New Zealand, said the couple plan to stay in Norfolk for now.
She said: 'We're now trying to work out his visa and hope to stay here for the near future.
'I moved here when I was one - so it's quite weird how we met.'
And Mr Brown-Bates, from Gladstone, in Queensland, added: 'It's a small world.'
The couple celebrated the news, which came after the hour-long Amersham & Chiltern match on Saturday, March 23, with Miss Crooks family, and said they are deciding where to get married.
'He keeps talking about the club but I don't think that's going to happen,' Miss Crooks' said.
But she added she would be 'very shocked' if they didn't try to fit some rugby-themed details into their big day.