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England Elite Women at RFU Premiership Academies

18 December 2007

December 18th, 2007

The Rugby Football Union for Women and the Rugby Football Union's Premiership Academies have teamed up in an exciting new programme to further develop England's top female rugby players.

36 of England Women's Elite Squad are now involved with Saracens, London Irish, Bristol Rugby, Sale Sharks, Newcastle Falcons, Bath Rugby and Leeds Carnegie. London Wasps and Northampton Saints are currently involved in delivering strength and conditioning to players.

The programme will offer England's top female athletes the chance to work with the best Under 18s Academy players and coaches in the country in a fully integrated rugby skills programme.

Nicola Ponsford, the RFUW's Head of Performance said: "This is an exciting venture which will offer our best players invaluable experience whilst also offering them added training locally. The academy sessions will give the players the opportunity to develop core skills and decision making under pressure and to work on position specific skills.  Working with their male counterparts will raise the intensity and physicality of the girls and increase the speed at which they have to work.

"Our goal is to be World Champions in 2010 and the assistance we are getting from the coaches and the clubs involved is tremendous. We also feel that the boys will benefit from working with England's best women's players".

Richard Metcalf, Newcastle Falcons Academy Manager, added: "This is a great opportunity for the RFU Academies and the RFUW to work with each other and learn from each other. For Newcastle this is a chance for us to tap into the coaching knowledge and expertise of the RFUW and for them to do so with us. The England women players are also getting the chance to learn about the way we coach and develop our academy players.

"From the first session I have been impressed with the players. The girls have been up for all aspects of training, and getting stuck in while our players have fully embraced their inclusion. They just treat them like any other rugby player. The girls have stepped up to the mark physically, in skills and speed of thought and it works both ways. I am really pleased with the way this programme is developing."

England players involved

Claire  Allan  Saracens
Margaret Alphonsi Saracens
Sara Anastasi London Irish
Charlotte Barras Northampton Saints
Sarah Beale  Leeds Carnegie
Natalie Binstead London Wasps
Rachael Burford Saracens
Rosemarie Crowley Sale Sharks
Samantha Dale Sale Sharks
Becky Essex  London Irish
Amy Garnett  Saracens
Sophie Hemming Bristol Rugby 
Samantha JamiesonLeeds Carnegie
Karen Jones  London Irish
Emma Layland London Irish
Tina Lee  Bath Rugby
Francis Matthews London Irish
Joanna McGilchrist London Irish
Katy McLean  Newcastle Falcons 
Amber Penrith Bath Rugby
Fiona Pocock London Irish
Helen Price  Sale Sharks
Claire  Purdy  London Wasps
Shelley Rae   London Irish
Alice Richardson London Irish
Georgina Roberts Newcastle
Georgina Rozario Bath Rugby
Gemma Sharples Bristol Rugby
Heidi Shelburg London Wasps
Katherine Smith London Irish
Catherine Spencer Bristol Rugby
Michaela Staniford London Irish
Katy Storie  Newcastle
Tamara Taylor Newcastle
Amy Turner  London Irish
Danielle Waterman Bath Rugby