Girl power at Shelford Rugby Club with former England international Rocky Clark as new league team is created
Former England international Rocky Clark helped to deliver a girls’ rugby masterclass at Shelford Rugby Club last week.
As part of the Girls’ Rugby Club, the most capped international in England rugby history was joined by former Wasps star Vicky Alexander at the Davey Field.
Twenty-five players, predominantly in the under-13 and under-15 age groups, from a range of clubs across the region, including Shelford, Royston and Norwich, attended the camp to develop technical and match skills.
“It’s an international network of players who have represented their country or played Premiership rugby or top-flight rugby,” said Shelford director of rugby Will Cotterill.
“They are championing the cause for the development of girls’ rugby around the world, which is fantastic.
“The two coaches, Vicky and Rocky, did a fantastic job of making sure the balance was right between the girls having time to socialise and play games, as well as learning a little bit more detail about the technical side of the game.
“It was really well received. The girls were just constantly smiling, getting involved and towards the end of the day, they started to do more game-based training and you could see the development in the players just through the day from when they started.”
The masterclass comes at a time when Shelford are developing their own pathway for girls’ and women’s rugby.
For the first time in their history, they will have two women’s teams competing in leagues.
The first team will be in the Women’s NC1 East, while the Nomads will be in the Women’s NC3 Midlands (Central).
“With the growth in the women’s section, we’ve got enough players to have our women’s first XV and our women’s nomads both in leagues, which is great,” said Cotterill.
“The Nomads is a great opportunity for developing players. Lots of our women are new to the sport so it creates a really nice development programme for them.
“Also, as the girls transition out of our under-18 girls’ programme, they can drop into that Nomads team – it isn’t such a massive step up into the women’s first XV.
“We’ve now got our under-13s, under-15s, and under-18s girls’ squads and they can now transition into a development women’s squad – the Nomads – or, if they are capable, they can go straight into our women’s first XV.”
He added: “It’s certainly moving towards getting more of a balance between the boys’ and the men’s, and the women’s and girls’ programmes, which is fantastic.”