February 28th, 2007
After three years of hard work in building an Under 14s and an Under 17s team girls' rugby at Reading RFC is proving to be a real success story.
This has been the first season that Reading RFC has offered a full and varied player development programme and the club and its players are reaping the rewards.
In a contrast to boys' rugby many players have had little or no experience when they took up the oval ball game, but the club has found this has not put the players off and instead motivation is high and learning is quick with the players usually ready to start playing at club level after just a few months.
"This year we have had a very active match programme consisting of club friendly games, league and county games and the national cup tournament games," said David Edwards of Reading RFC. "The remainder of the season will be taken up with regional training, friendly games and various tournaments including the popular sevens' competition.
"We are proud of the fine contribution all the club's members are making to girls youth rugby and we are looking forward to further successes this season and in the future."
Reading RFC has also teamed up with the successful Thames Valley Cluster League, representing Berkshire, which won the Under 17s league this season.
The players are clearly reaping the benefits of the hard working club with 19 Under 17s girls selected to represent the county. For the Under 14s, ten players were also accepted for the county programme. In the Thames Valley County Competition, the Berkshire Under 17s again won, narrowly beating Buckinghamshire. The Under 14s team finished as runners-up.
The county players are also eligible for recommendation by the County Coaches for regional trials (Oxfordshire, Middlesex, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire). Reading RFC had 13 Under 17s players selected into the squad of 30. From the Under 14s squad six players have been selected into the squad of 25. Regional training is underway and matches begin in March. The National tournament in May will be held at Rugby School.
Several Reading players were also invited to trial for the new Rugby Football Union for Women Under 17s Player Development Programme which aims to develop a National pool of elite players. With only 30 players, Reading can be proud that they will be represented by two players.