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Northern Divisional women at Scarborough

13 February 2013

  • First-day excitement in North women’s camps
  • New coaches, new combinations face acid test

Three Northern teams will be in action at Scarborough RFC on Sunday (February 17, 2013) when the RFU Women’s Divisional Programme for 2013 gets underway at Senior, Under 18 and Under 15 levels.

The North open with games against the Midlands and continue with a series of inter-regional matches, which closes on March 24.

“There is always an air of excitement at the start of another Divisional Programme, which stems from the uncertainty involved,” says Rob Thompson, the North’s Divisional Talent Development Officer. “All the girls have been involved in training weekends, but now the coaching and the work they put into those sessions will be put to the test in a competitive game. How they gel together as a team in a game situation for the first time will be very interesting and will reveal much about their individual skills.

“We have two new coaches this year at Senior level in Hugh Gumbs from Leeds University and Darren Lanon from Macclesfield, who are having their first involvement in women’s rugby, so Sunday is also a big day for them.

“We have centre Georgina Roberts captaining the side. She has already played for England at XVs and Sevens and will be keen to be at her best to try to earn a recall. There is also plenty of incentive for three England Under 20 players in the Senior squad.

“Prop Ellie Prescott, lock Abi Scott and replacement prop Amy Needham all played for the England Under 20s last year and are looking for strong performances on Sunday to win selection for the up-coming game against France.”

With nine of last season’s North Under 15 squad promoted to Sunday’s Under 18 team, coaches will be hoping that natural talent will camouflage youth and inexperience, a situation which also challenges the Under 15 side with so many of their players moving up together.

The function of the Divisional Programme, which is part of the Women’s and Girls’ Player Pathway and started in 2010, is to identify and develop talent at all levels of the women’s and girls’ game, with the objective of producing future England internationals.

The programme provides a challenging, high-quality environment that enables the individual development of players who have the potential, ambition and commitment to move up the representative ladder.

England Women are the reigning champions and seven-times consecutive winners of the Women’s Six Nations Championship and they beat world champions New Zealand in an historic 3-0 series whitewash last autumn.

“Through the RFU Women’s and Girls’ Player Pathway we can see players progressing from club rugby to representing their county, their division and even their country,” said England Head Coach Gary Street.

“One of the programme’s most recent stars is Emily Braund, who made her England debut in the 2012 Six Nations. Just months earlier Emily was running out for the Midlands team.

“With the aim of broadening our female playing base and finding and developing England’s best rugby talent, the Player Pathway includes an enhanced Club Programme, a fully functional County Programme and this Divisional Programme.”

North Seniors: Danielle Wiseman (Waterloo & Lancashire); Julie Hope (Carlisle & Cumbria), Sarah Dunn (West Park Leeds & Yorkshire), Georgina Roberts (Mowden Sharks & Durham) capt, Igemi Ekoku (Eccles & Lancashire); Beth Stott (Waterloo & Lancashire), Alessandra Lewis (Waterloo & Lancashire); Charlotte Evans (Sheffield Ladies & Yorkshire), Rachael Thomas (Waterloo & Lancashire), Ellie Prescott (Waterloo & Lancashire), Abbie Scott (Darlington MP & Northumberland), Lucy Brook (Waterloo & Lancashire), Kelly Bevan (West Park Leeds & Yorkshire), Lilian Knight (Durham University & Durham), Corinne Allmark (Waterloo & Lancashire).

Replacements: Sarah Batley (West Park Leeds & Yorkshire), Amy Needham (Darlington Mowden Park & Northumberland), Lisa Cockburn (Leeds Met University & Yorkshire), Amy Johnson (Birkenhead Park & Cheshire), Joanne Brown (Mowden Sharks & Durham), Vickie Pinks (West Park Leeds & Yorkshire), Rachel Lund (Darlington MP & Yorkshire).

North Under 18s: Olivia Ball (Tyldesley & Lancashire); Zoe Aldcroft (West Park Leeds & Yorkshire); Linzi Taylor (Morpeth & Northumberland), Rebecca Scholes (Glossop & Cheshire), Tanya Donkin (West Park Leeds & Yorkshire); Hannah Illingworth (Tynedale & Northumberland), Pip Gregory (Glossop & Cheshire); Lydia Hughes (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire), Vicky Carbutt (West Park Leeds & Yorkshire), Rachel Proctor (West Park Leeds & Yorkshire), Catherine O’Donnell (Keswick & Cumbria), Emily Allen ( Morpeth & Northumberland), Ashleigh Brown (Morpeth & Northumberland), Sadie Giles (Worcester & Lancashire), Sally Stott (Vale of Lune & Lancashire).

Replacements: May Campbell (Hartpury & Gloucestershire), Chloe Squires (Carlisle & Cumbria), Molly Morrisey (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire), Rebecca Trist (Tyldesley & Lancashire), Caity Mattinson (Hartpury, Worcester & Gloucestershire), Sarah Foster (Morpeth & Northumberland), Lindsay Tait ( Tynedale & Northumberland).

North Under 15s: Zoe Hardy (Tynedale & Northumberland); Karli Nicholson (Whickham School &  Northumberland), Libby Finn (Northwich & Cheshire), Charlie Wilcock (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire), Nicole Boardman (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire); Holly Aichinson (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire), Megan Price (Eccles & Lancashire); Rebecca O’Dwyer (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire), Milly Cadman (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire), Daisy Morrisey (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire), Rachel Chadfield (Thirsk & Yorkshire), Gemma Donaldson (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire).

Replacements: Lilly Hodgson (Keswick & Cumbria), Alyssia King (Northwich & Cheshire), Tyne Jenkinson (Morpeth & Northumberland), Caitlin Knight (Manchester & Cheshire), Ella Strachan (Morpeth & Northumberland), Amy Harling (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire), Laura Perrin (Vale of Lune & Lancashire), Hannah Madden (Liverpool St Helens & Lancashire).

North Divisional Programme 2013

February 17
Senior: North v Midlands (Scarborough RFC, 1.45pm)
U18: North v Midlands (Scarborough RFC, 12pm)
U15: North v Midlands (Scarborough RFC, 12pm)
March 3
Senior: North v South West (Waterloo RFC, 2pm)
March 10
Senior: London & South East v North (Esher RFC, 2.30pm)
U18: London & South East v North (Esher RFC, 12.30pm)
March 24
U18: South West v North (Hartpury College, ko tbc)
U15: South West v North (Hartpury College, ko tbc)


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