Glouces­ter-hart­pury trio handed con­tracts

Gloucestershire Echo - - SPORTING INDEX -

THREE Glouces­ter-hart­pury play­ers have been handed Eng­land Women XVS con­tracts for the 2019/20 sea­son.

Club cap­tain Natasha Hunt, Kelly Smith and Zoe Ald­croft are among the 28 play­ers to have been awarded full­time pro­fes­sional deals which will run un­til the cli­max of the forth­com­ing cam­paign in Au­gust 2020.

Eng­land Women head coach Si­mon Mid­dle­ton said: “The qual­ity of the play­ers within the Tyrrells Pre­mier 15s has meant the com­pe­ti­tion for con­tracts has and will con­tinue to in­crease which will only be a pos­i­tive as we con­tinue our long-term build-up to the 2021 World Cup. The league keeps throw­ing up new ta­lent.

“Last sea­son, a num­ber of play­ers sur­faced within the league who were show­ing great po­ten­tial and we felt it would be wrong not to look at them.

“We’re re­ally pleased with the squad of 28 and we’ll con­tinue to adapt and call on other play­ers at any given time. The whole league is a pool for us. “We’re all look­ing for­ward to the sea­son ahead.”

RFU head of women’s Per­for­mance Nicky Pons­ford added: “Full-time con­tracts help to en­sure we have ac­cess to play­ers to de­velop them and al­low them to ful­fil their po­ten­tial.

“Our prepa­ra­tions for the 2021 World Cup are firmly un­der­way and we have a big sea­son ahead of us.

“We’re de­lighted with the on­go­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween our­selves and the Tyrrells Pre­mier 15s clubs and we look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing this work and de­vel­op­ing our na­tional team and do­mes­tic league.”

Glouces­ter-hart­pury made it two wins from two Tyrrell Pre­mier 15 games with a 22-19 suc­cess over Wasps.

Hooker Con­nie Pow­ell scored the first try, Ellen Mur­phy con­vert­ing, only for Wasps to re­spond straight­away to level the scores.

Glouces­ter-hart­pury re-took the lead when Smith opened her ac­count for this sea­son.

How­ever, Wasps crossed on the stroke of half-time to send the teams in level at 12-12.

Welsh in­ter­na­tional flanker Bethan Lewis scored Glouces­ter-hart­pury’s third try on 44 min­utes but Abi­gail Dow scored a fine in­di­vid­ual try three min­utes later and the con­ver­sion gave the visi­tors the lead for the first time.

The win­ning score came when Shona Pow­ell-hughes went over on the hour mark.

For­wards: Zoe Ald­croft (Glouces­ter-hart­pury Women) Sarah Beck­ett (Har­lequins Women) Sarah Bern (Bris­tol Bears Women) Han­nah Bot­ter­man (Sara­cens Women) Shau­nagh Brown (Har­lequins Women) Bry­ony Cleall (Sara­cens Women) Poppy Cleall (Sara­cens Women) Amy Cokayne (Har­lequins Women/raf) Vickii Corn­bor­ough (Har­lequins Women) Lark Davies (Lough­bor­ough Light­ning) Vicky Fleet­wood (Sara­cens Women) Sarah Hunter (Lough­bor­ough Light­ning) Cath O’ Don­nell (Lough­bor­ough Light­ning) Mar­lie Packer (Sara­cens Women) Ab­bie Scott (Har­lequins Women) Backs: Jess Breach (Har­lequins Women) Katy Da­ley-mclean (Lough­bor­ough Light­ning) Zoe Har­ri­son (Sara­cens Women) Natasha Hunt (Glouces­ter-hart­pury Women) Clau­dia Mac­don­ald (Wasps FC Ladies) Sarah Mckenna (Sara­cens Women) Am­ber Reed (Bris­tol Bears Women) Leanne Ri­ley (Har­lequins Women) Emily Scar­ratt (Lough­bor­ough Light­ning) Emily Scott (Har­lequins Women) Kelly Smith (Glouces­ter-hart­pury Women) Ly­dia Thomp­son (Worces­ter Warriors Women) Lagi Tuima (Har­lequins Women)

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