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Home > News > North hopefuls chase England Womens squad places
Your News North hopefuls chase England Womens squad places

FOLLOWING in footsteps of Englands outstanding performance in reaching the final of the Womens Rugby World Cup, this seasons tranche of divisional trial matches, which begins on Sunday (February 13), has an added piquancy for all the players involved.

Northern Division interest on Sunday focuses on the North Senior XV, which travels to Longton RUFC for an opening game against the Midlands.

The programme, which extends to March 20, covers three age bands - Seniors, U18s and U15s and provides a platform for a wide range of players to parade their skills and press for inclusion in the squad which will form the basis of next seasons elite groupings at the three levels.

The top 44 players in the country will not be part of the Divisional programme as they are involved in Six Nations International Rugby at the moment, with Darlington Mowden Park Sharks pair Katy Mclean and Georgina Roberts in the senior England side which meets Italy at Esher this weekend, but they will obviously resume when an elite squad for next season is finalised in May, said North Talent Development Officer Rob Thomson:

We will have England Under 20s in action in the Divisional games and the competition will be strong. The North has a mix of experienced and younger players, but we dont really have the strongest club structure in the North, so that while I think well do well, it will be interesting to see how we perform.

The North players in action at Longton RUFC first put down a marker with coach Duncan Scarr and the selectors when they played for their county sides before Christmas and a squad of 54 were selected for a final trial and squad session at Broughton Park RUFC, from which the squad of 30 were chosen for the Divisional games.

This programme forms an integral part of the RFUW Player Pathway, which ultimately leads to the senior England team and, for the elite, a full international programme and another tilt at the World Cup.

North Senior Women (v Midlands at Longton): Meadhbh Westwood (Eccleshall); Ruth Laybourn (Leodiensian), Fran Walker (Waterloo), Vicki Pinks (Leeds Met University), Danielle Wiseman (Waterloo Ladies); Bethany Stott (Leodiensian), Phillipa Bell (Carlisle Ladies); Lucy Meadley (Carlisle Ladies), Rachael Thomas (Waterloo Ladies), Charlotte Evans (Shefflield Ladies), Lucy Brook (Rossendale Ladies), Bridget Mills (Waterloo Ladies), Rachael Broadhurst (Birkenhead Park), Jenny Evans (Vale of Lune), Hannah Batty (Leodiensian) capt.

Replacement: Steph Veal (Waterloo Ladies), Lisa Wakefield (Novocastrians), Corrine Allmark (Waterloo Ladies), Sophie Spence (Darlington Mowden Park), Amy Phillips (MMU Cheshire Uni), Heike Niemand (Leeds Uni/Leodiensians), Julie Hope (Carlisle Ladies).

Divisional programme details:

Feb 13 - Senior Divisional Programme matches: London & SE v SW Newbury RFC; Midlands v North Longton RFC.

Feb 20 - U18s Divisional Programme matches: Midlands v North Longton RFC; London & SE v SW Newbury RFC.

March 6 - Senior Divisional Programme matches: Midlands v London and SE Banbury RFC; North v SW Lymm RFC.

March 20 - U18s Divisional Programme matches: London & SE v North Luton RFC; SW v Midlands Cheltenham RFC. Senior Divisional Programme matches: London and SE v North - Luton RFC, SW v Midlands - Cheltenham RFC.

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