Four Cougars to represent North of England

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Four Carlisle Cougars are selected to represent the North of England

From the senior squad Captain Lucy Meadley, vice captain Philippa Bell, and new Cougars recruit Julie Hope have all been selected to represent the North of England in the womens’ divisional rugby union competition.

This is the next step up from the county competition which the national Rugby Football Union for Women (RFUW) and the Cumbria Rugby Football Union supported for the first time this season. Cumbria competed against established county sides of Northumbria and Lancashire, who have played in an informal Northern Counties cup for the last few seasons. Cumbria took a win from Northumbria and lost narrowly to Lancashire.

Eight senior players were put forward to trial, with seven taking part in the all day event in Manchester a week ago. Established players Lucy Meadley and Philippa Bell have both represented the North East of England in the past in the previous player pathway system, and have been part of the RFUWs higher performance academy.

Julie Hope, however, joined the Carlisle Cougars towards the end of last season, but has the potential to progress along the player pathway as a real try scoring machine with great spatial awareness, speed, and agility. The remarkable coincidence about the selection of the three is that they are all from the Loweswater valley, near Cockermouth.

Carlisle and County Coach Jonny Taylor said “This competition will enable these players to show what they can do against the best players outside of the England set up from Midlands, South West and South East. Being selected into the squad of 30 from the 50 players put forward across the North of England after the County competition is a real honour for the players. It shows that they have the skills and potential to compete at a higher level, and is fantastic that Carlisle have three players involved in this level of training and competition”.  All three players are in the squad to play the Midlands on Sunday 13th February.

Chloe Squires from Carlisle has also been selected for the U15s Northern divisional squad. This selection is a real credit to Chloe who has worked really hard at County training, and has been keen to pick up skills with a very small number of girls players currently at Carlisle. She will benefit from the training and playing opportunities offered by the divisional programme but, like the senior players will have to give a high level of commitment due to the travel requirements alone. All of the selections show that those keen to try the sport can have the opportunity to progress up through player pathway.

Training for anyone over 12 is on a Wednesday evening at the rugby club on Warwick Road in Carlisle; contact Lucy on 07912110785 or email carlislecougars@hotmail.co.uk for more information.