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Home > News > Midlands set for RFUW Junior Divisional showpiece
Your News Midlands set for RFUW Junior Divisional showpiece

Midlands Under 18s will complete their RFUW Junior Divisional Programme against London & South East at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire on April 17.

The Midlands will be aiming to finish on a high having been beaten by the North (12-5) and South West (31-17) in their two matches so far.

Midlands Under 15s will also be involved in the Hartpury weekend where they will play three 20 minute periods against the thre other divisions.

The Festival is the highlight of the RFUW Junior Divisional Program, said Andy Paton, the RFUW Talent Development Officer for the Midlands.

The weekend is a fantastic opportunity for players and coaches to meet and work alongside the other divisional squads and to relish the experience and unique atmosphere that a festival like this creates. All four divisions will be represented at both U15 and U18 age groups which means over 200 young female players will descend on Hartpury College for what will be a fantastic weekend of rugby.

England Head Coach Gary Street and Head of Performance Nicky Ponsford will be there on Sunday and over the weekend there will also be Maggie Alphonsi, Nolli Waterman, Sarah Hunter, Emily Scarrett and Mo Hunt from our England Elite 44 squad.

All will be available for the Divisional players to chat to and they will be more than happy to sign autographs. I am looking forward to a great weekend and judging by some fantastic games of rugby during the rest of the program with very close hard fought matches it should be a real feast of exciting rugby.

Midlands Under 18 head coach Jeremy Porteous said: We are looking forward to playing a very strong London and South East squad for the first time ever and we have selected another team with great potential and a good mix of youth and experience.

The side will again be skippered by recently capped England U20's centre Leanne Riley who plays her club rugby for Worcester U18's. Some changes to the squad have been forced due to injury but we have also made a commitment to players that they would be given an opportunity to show us what they can do with some players pushing forward for international recognition.

Lark Davies moves from the back row to hooker, Alice Tinn returns from injury at openside, Megan Staley moves from loosehead to tighthead and Leanne Riley moves to outside centre to accommodate the return of twin Zeta Clarke with sister Libby again featuring in the back row. Once again the focus will be on team performance and doing the basics well.

Midlands Under 18s

15 Zoe Bennion (Worcester and North Midlands); 14 Rachel Jones (Paviors and NLD), 13 Leanne Riley (Worcester and North Midlands), 12 Zeta Clark (Worcester and North Midlands), 11 Chelsey Fuggle (Lichfield and Staffordshire/Warwickshire); 10 Bethany James (Paviors and NLD), 9 Jenny Maxwell (Paviors and NLD); 1 Megan Staley (Paviors and NLD), 2 Lark Davis (Worcester and North Midlands), 3 Emma Vicarage (Worcester and North Midlands), 4 Izzy Moore (Worcester and North Midlands), 5 Holly Donelly-Bush (Paviors and NLD), 6 Alice Tinn (Paviors and NLD), 7 Libby Clark (Worcester and North Midlands), 8 Carys Williams (Lichfield and Staffordshire/Warwickshire). Replacements: Jasmine Mitchell (Hinckley and Staffordshire/Warwickshire), Hannah Newsome (Lichfield and Staffordshire/Warwickshire), Rebee Penrice-Randall (Worcester and North Midlands), Charlotte Reeves (Hinckley and Staffordshire/Warwickshire), Amy Tinn (Paviors and NLD), Emma Harbage (Lichfield and Staffordshire/Warwickshire), Harriet Kerswell (Bridgnorth and North Midlands).

Midlands Under 15 head coach Stuart Bell said: The whole of the squad are looking forward to the festival to put into practice what they have learnt and to see how their skills have improved against their peers from all the other divisions, but above all we are looking forward to playing some good rugby and having fun.

Midlands Under 15s squad

Backs: Holly Allen (Wellingborough and East Midlands), Heather Barnes (Paviors and NLD), Ellie Batten (Melton Mowbray and Leicestershire), Emily Davis (Paviors and NLD), Rhianon Donnahey (Worcester and North Midlands), Niamh Fordham (Old Northamptonians and East Midlands), Ella Halcrow (Old Northamptonians and East Midlands), Juliet Leah (Melton Mowbray and Leicestershire), Rebecca Noble (Worcester and North Midlands), Jade Shekells (Worcester and North Midlands), Jessica Sly (Worcester and North Midlands), Kelly Smith (Worcester and North Midlands), Millie Sodeau (Sleaford and NLD), Hetty Swan (Worcester and North Midlands), Micha Warren (Paviors and NLD), Paige Woodhouse (Paviors and NLD).

The RFUW Divisional Programme forms an integral part of the RFUW Player Pathway, which can see players from u15s upwards progress from playing club rugby to potentially representing their country. Current England stars who have qualified through the player pathway include Margaret Alphonsi and Emily Scarratt

Players selected for the Divisional Programme have been selected by their Constituency Body and if they are successful could go on to try out for England this season , or qualify for the Under 18s and Under 15s RFUW National Talent Development Groups, which looks to develop the future talent of England Womens rugby.

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