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County rugby revival in Northumberland

08 November 2011

  • Northumberland Senior Women experience a boost in playing numbers
  • Northumberland embrace RFUW CB Programme

Women’s rugby in England is growing more and more popular by the day and there is evidence of that in Northumberland with the county fielding a newly invigorated Senior Women’s team in the RFUW’s Constituency Body (CB) Programme.

The RFUW’s CB Programme is recognised as the first step on the ladder to England selection, with county trials leading into divisional selection and then in turn possible England trials.

And what a difference a season makes for Northumberland. Last term Northumberland’s County Senior Ladies team struggled to survive with poor training attendances and disappointing squad numbers. However, at a pre-season meeting for all the clubs in the area it was agreed that local club Team Northumbria would give up their weekly coaching sessions in the week prior to the CB Programme fixtures and host county sessions on a Tuesday night instead.

Each session has been open to all players, and all the county’s teams coaching staff have been invited to attend. In addition, each session has included an input on specialist roles through the Rugby Development Programme in conjunction with Newcastle Falcons. The result was that 42 players attended the first coaching session, with 34 of those registering an interest in playing representative rugby.

Northumberland Head coach Alan Moses said: "I think the results of this shows that hard work and determination does pay off, off the field as well as on it.  Rob Winter, our county Women’s Rugby Manager and Graeme Cooper, our county Team Manager and Coach, have put in hours of work with the local clubs and come up with an innovative solution to help develop as many players and coaches as possible from the club game as well as serving to identify players for the county side. 

"The programme has been totally inclusive with players ranging in ability, from relative newcomers to experienced players. The results on the field will hopefully come but that’s not our focus at the moment. We want the players to develop as many skills as possible and to enjoy the experience. That will hopefully keep them coming back for years to come."

After one win and one loss so far this season against Yorkshire and Durham, Northumberland Ladies are next in action against Cumbria on December 4.