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Warwickshire establish first ever women’s county side

09 November 2011

  • One win and one defeat for new Warwickshire ladies so far
  • Future looks bright for women's rugby in the county
Warwickshire's first ever women's county side

Photo: RFU Archive

Women’s rugby in England is growing more and more popular by the day and there is evidence of that in Warwickshire with the county fielding a senior women’s team for the first time ever 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.

The newly created Warwickshire Ladies have taken on North Midlands and East Midlands so far this season and with one win and one defeat the county are clearly enjoying their new rugby adventures. Next up they face Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire on December 4.

Stacey Tolley, manager and player for Warwickshire Ladies, said: "The programme has been pretty hard going as there are only two ladies club teams within Warwickshire but we were eager to create a senior squad.

"Never before were we able to field a side at this level, only at Under 18s, and certainly in the future we hope to be able to compete consistently each year across all age bands.

"The benefits are that the players that are excelling in the county are being identified at a higher level and are getting the opportunity to show their skills where previously they may have missed out."

Claire Antcliffe, the RFUW’s Women’s Rugby Development Manager for the Midlands, added: "We have been looking at getting a senior team up and running in Warwickshire for over three seasons and finally it has taken hold. To face a strong North Midlands side in their first fixture was extremely daunting but they played with heart and grew in strength.

"Their second fixture shows that there are great things to come from girls and women’s rugby within Warwickshire in the very near future. A team is only as strong as its manager and players and Stacey has been a revelation this year and really stuck at it."