An Osterley rugby league coach is swapping the bibs and cones for running shoes to raise money for charity.

Louise Latter,who coaches Syon Lane-based West London Sharks, is running the Rome Marathon next month in memory of a friend who died of cancer last year.

Sophie Drury passed away at the age of 34 having battled with ovarian cancer for almost a decade, but did not let it stop her running,skiiing,scuba diving and even trekking through the Himalayas.

And despite leading an active life herself, playing rugby union for Harlequins, Wasps and England Ladies, Latter admits she never thought she'd be running a marathon.

She said: "In March, I'll be doing something I said I would never do, running a marathon.

"For those that know me well, running a marathon is my kind of hell.

"But I, along with 40 others, will be running the Rome Marathon in memory of Sophie Drury, a close friend of mine who lost her battle with cancer in April last year.

"Sophie was an amazing person with the most contagious smile and the most remarkable outlook on life, even though she had cancer.

"She was an inspiration to her friends and family,and it's for Sophie that I'm running this marathon.

"Running and raising money for charity seems like the fitting way to honour her memory."

The two charities to benefit will be Macmillan Cancer Support and the Prospect Hospice in Swindon, where Sophie passed away.

Anyone who wishes to sponsor Latter should log onto and follows the links.

Latter,who lives in Twickenham and works for a financial marketing firm in Ashford, will be in her sixth season with West

London Sharks when their latest campaign begins again in April. They will be expected to do well again in the Rugby League Conference Premier South having romped to the title last year.

In fact, Sharks went on to win the Conference Regional Final but lost the National Final to Nottingham Outlaws. However, the blow was softened by being named Club of the Year at the Rugby League Conference's annual awards.

Sharks' Ladies went one better by becoming national champions.