- South West travel north as Divisional re-commences
- England U20 players back for regional duty
Photo: RFU Archive
The 2013 RFU Women’s Divisional Programme resumes this Sunday (March 3, 2pm) with the South West Seniors travelling to Waterloo to play the North.
The South West will be looking for a response after losing their first game on February 17 to London & South East at Frome.
They will be expecting some of their England U20s players to put in a big performance after coming back from playing France at Esher last Saturday. Among the players to look out for will be Lucy Aylesbury (Gloucester University, Worcester and Gloucestershire), who starts at hooker for this match.
LJ Adams has challenged her players to be more physical at the breakdown and set piece and to take the game to the North.
England Wing Sally Tuson, who plays for Bristol, made her senior England debut in the European Cup last year and played against France in the Six Nations Championship at Twickenham Stadium last weekend.
Tuson, who played for the South West in the Divisional Programme last season and is a strong supporter of the player pathway, said: “The RFU’s Women’s and Girls’ Divisional Programme was a really important step in getting to where I am now in my rugby career.
“I really enjoyed playing for the South West and it was a crucial part of my development. It was certainly one of the main reasons I got selected to play for England.
“The programme clearly works as in just two seasons, 10 players have already gone on to play for England in XVs or Sevens or both.
“It is an honour to play for your country but also to play for your region is a really impressive achievement and I wish all the players involved in the programme this season the best of luck.”
The Divisional Programme started in 2010 and is crucial in developing talent to improve rugby at all levels of the women’s and girls’ player pathway, with the objective of producing future England internationals at XVs and Sevens.
Played across three age groups in England’s four divisions – North, Midlands, London & South East and South West – the programme provides a challenging, high quality performance environment within each division, enabling individual development of players who have the potential, ambition and commitment to become the best they can be.
The seniors in the Divisional Programme play three fixtures each in a round-robin tournament, culminating on March 10.
South West squad to face the North at Waterloo RFC, Sunday, March 3
Mary Ann Gittings (Bristol and Gloucestershire), Siobhan Longdon-Hughes (Cardiff Met University and Gloucestershire), Rosie Kells (Hartpury and Gloucestershire), Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol and Somerset), Sophie Lee (Durham University and Durham), Charlotte Keane (Worcester and Gloucestershire), Bianca Blackburn (Hartpury and Gloucestershire), Sam Herrick (Cardiff Quins and Somerset), Lucy Aylesbury (Worcester and Gloucestershire), Sacha Acheson (Bristol and Eastern Counties), Zoe Saynor (Exeter University and Devon), Courtney Gill (Worcester and Gloucestershire), Lucie Wood (Worcester and Gloucestershire), Kayleigh Callaway-Bowden (Penryn and Cornwall), Liz Lennox (Cullompton and Devon).
Replacements: Clara Neilson (North Tawton and Devon), Niki Savory (Hucclecote and Gloucestershire), Kayleigh Winser (Cheltenham and Gloucestershire), Jenny Balmer (Chesham and Buckinghamshire), Katie Mason (Bristol and Somerset), Megan Priest (Bristol and Somerset), Louise Dennis (Worcester and Gloucestershire).