- Three teams unite to boost women’s rugby
- Regular match programme key to progress
Photo: RFU Archive
Yorkshire women’s rugby launched a new initiative recently when the first training session of a newly formed Yorkshire Ladies Barbarians rugby union side comprising players from Castleford, York and Halifax was held at Castleford’s Willowbridge Lane ground.
A squad of 16 enjoyed the fun-based fitness drills before they got down enthusiastically to the serious rugby work.
This is a new initiative by the three clubs to grow the open age game in Yorkshire and the amalgamated team will play matches together while the individual clubs grow their own fledgling squads.
Castleford’s Ladies player-coach Samantha Zubrzycki said: “We set up the ladies team at Castleford RUFC to give many of the players’ mums the chance to learn more about the game as well as giving ladies in the local area the chance to try rugby union.
“However, to enable us and the game in Yorkshire to grow we need more players and we came up with the idea of a Yorkshire Ladies Barbarians side to train with other clubs and then to get match experience for a greater pool of players. The response from the players at our clubs has already exceeded our expectations.
It’s really good to see the determination shown by the girls and I’m looking forward to competing for my spot in the Barbarians’ starting XV as well as seeing a Castleford Ladies team playing every week.”
Heidi Sowrey, Halifax RUFC’s player-manager, said: “The session today is just the start as there was such a buzz felt by all the ladies. The whole idea of being able to train and play together is most important for us to get the necessary match practice we all want, but might not get at our individual clubs at the moment.
“It is a very exciting time to be involved with ladies rugby and we hope that each individual club will use the Barbarians as a means to grow the numbers in their own club and then we can get more fixtures across a number of Yorkshire clubs.
“Each of the clubs have stressed that they are on the lookout for new ladies and are encouraging everyone to come along to each of their clubs to give it a try. Any level of experience is more than welcome and there are some who have played county rugby and others who have never even picked up a rugby ball but we want to see everyone just pitch up and all will be welcomed”.
Sarah McLoughlin from York RI added: “Each club will host joint training sessions in addition to our usual club training.
“This will help us get to know each other and we will be able to do more in each session with the greater numbers participating. This is a great move for Yorkshire Ladies rugby and I’m really pleased that our club is at the heart of it.
“Our girls are very keen to get involved and it can only help us as a club to form lasting links with other ladies’ teams in the region. Castleford delivered a really dynamic first session and we’re looking forward to continuing at Halifax in a few weeks' time.”
For more details about each club, contact:
Samantha Zubrzycki on 07817749250 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter @SamZubby or @CasladiesRUFC
Heidi Sowrey on 07908 990 739 or email@example.com
Sarah McLoughlin 07762 035358 or firstname.lastname@example.org