Cumbria hosts girls’ competition

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Cumbria is to host representative women’s and girl’s rugby for the first time.

Sunday saw the first regional representative girl’s rugby ever played in Cumbria, and there is more to follow. The same fixture North East Versus North West in the women’s competition will be hosted at Penrith RUFC in March. The venue has been selected by the RFUW this season, in its quest to use neutral grounds for the competition for the first time.  

Both games yesterday were competitive and played in the spirit of the game of rugby. The North West, though took all the points, wining 34:0 at Under 18s and 36:0 at Under 15s level. The North West played fast, attacking rugby, looking for gaps, running and carrying hard, and then distributing the ball wide. They also kicked into space and chased well. Especially impressive was their discipline to keep a steep attacking line and to support the ball carrier. The North east on the other hand, were better drilled at rucking and mauling, retaining their own ball well.      

This fixture is extra special to Cumbria as a result of the geography of the county as players chose which region they would like to represent. Yesterday saw two Carlisle RUFC team mates at the under 18s level; Jes Barnes and Emma Sutton play against each other for North West and North East respectively.  Caitlin Nugent (also of Carlisle RUFC) played for the North east at the Under 15s age band. Furness RUFC fielded 5 girls for the North West at Under 18s and one at Under 15. Despite the sparcity of clubs and problems with player recruitment to girl’s rugby, Cumbria are fielding a high proportion of girls at this representative level.

Carlisle Cougars: Emma Sutton (North East), Jes Barnes (North West) and Caitlin Nugent (North East).

Carlisle Cougars: Emma Sutton (North East), Jes Barnes (North West) and Caitlin Nugent (North East).

















The women’s fixture to be played on 15th March will be a re-match of last years 3rd/4th place play off in the regional competition. Cumbria were represented well in the North East last year, and for the first time the region were strong at this level, losing only to the overall winners West Midlands. This year Carlisle Cougars captain Lucy Meadley, and players Sarah Elsy and Philippa Bell, along with Katie Wigham (former Carlisle Cougar, now of Premiership ‘Team Northumbria’) have been selected to represent the North East region. The start of the competition has been delayed for the North East due to weather affecting the pitches and the late withdrawal of Yorkshire from the competition. 

Katie Wilson (RFUW volunteer coordinator) said

“It is great for Cumbria that the girls and women are being selected to play rugby at a regional level. There is some real talent in Cumbria, and the game is a lot of fun to be involved in at all levels. We would like to thank the RFUW for using neutral venues for this competition this season. It will be a great opportunity to see and support women’s rugby in Cumbria”.

Kick off is 2.00pm, entry is free. The next year is an exciting one in the women’s game as London will host the 2010 World Cup.

Anyone wishing to know more about women’s and girls rugby in Cumbria please get in touch with Katie Wilson on 07941 852352 or email”