- Mason, Scarratt and Matthews on hand in Norwich
- Coaching and contact games for more than 100 girls
England Women internationals La Toya Mason, Emily Scarratt and Fran Matthews coached and shared their advice and experience with more than 100 girls at the Norfolk Girls’ Emerging Schools Festival that took place at Easton College near Norwich in February.
Wasps scrum half Mason and Lichfield centre/full back Scarratt, who have been playing in the current Women’s RBS 6 Nations, and Richmond wing Matthews assisted with different coaching stations as the girls, aged 11 to 16, enjoyed a morning of instruction from RFU staff and young volunteers from Easton College’s Rugby Academy.
In the afternoon, the girls were split into U13s or U15s teams and given the opportunity to put their newly developed skills into competitive contact games. All the teams that participated will now be invited to a regional girls’ event in March and also each be given the opportunity to try out for the Eastern Counties teams next season.
Penny Chapman, Eastern Counties Rugby Development Officer (RDO), said: “Congratulations to Wymondham High school who won the U15s trophy and Notre Dame who won the U13s trophy.
“The girls were very excited to be able to meet the England players and showed them that they were really keen to learn and put all their effort into the games in trying to impress the England stars.”
Clare Cooper, Women’s Rugby Development Manager for London & South East, also attended and stressed the importance of female role models in sport.
Cooper said: “Having the England players at events such as this show to the girls that women and girls do play rugby and that they are passionate about what they do.
“La Toya, Emily and Fran all took time out from their day jobs and juggled their training sessions to enable them to support this event because they recognise the importance of acting as role models for the future of the game.”
Should any girls in Eastern Counties be interested in attending trials, or wish to find out their nearest club, they should contact Penny Chapman at Pennychapman@rfu.com or 07701 011591.