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Former Hills Road Sixth Form College pupils Lilla Berry and Thea Sylvester return to face Cambridge University sides

Two former Hills Road Sixth Form College pupils will return to Cambridge this month to showcase their development on the rugby pitch.

Cambridge University’s first team will provide the opposition on both occasions, with the fixtures being played at their Grange Road base.

Lilla Berry will be part of the Oxford University side that runs out this evening, while Thea Sylvester and her Brunel University team-mates will lock horns with the Cambridge students a week later.

Former Hills Road student Lilla Berry. Picture: Chris Fell
Former Hills Road student Lilla Berry. Picture: Chris Fell

Berry, who is Oxford’s social secretary, has her sights fixed on the Varsity Match at the start of March, having missed out on last year’s showpiece encounter at Twickenham through injury.

Sylvester, meanwhile, has recently linked up with the Ealing Trailfinders academy and is also in the Lionesses 7s squad.

And the duo are just two of a number of ex-Hills Road students that have remained in the game since moving on to pastures new.

Ellie Radcliffe, who is studying at Bath University, plays for Bath Rugby Ladies in the Women’s Championship 1, while Rebecca Clough (Bath), Ella Gibb (Bath), Emily Hay (Cardiff), Kacey Tuck (Hartpury), Matilde Agosti (Leeds), Lottie Flynn (Lincoln), Freya Walker (Manchester), Caitlin Donellan (Sheffield) and Scarlett Atkinson (Sussex) all turn out for their respective universities.

All of those players, along with Cambridge Rubies’ Holly McClean, played key roles in Hills Road’s recent success at the prestigious Rosslyn Park National 7’s.

Hills Road rugby coach Adrian Medd said: “To see these girls continue their rugby development at University and in top clubs is extremely gratifying and I am immensely proud of them.

“To see some of them playing back here in Cambridge will be very special.”

The clash with Oxford will be CURUFC’s first match of 2024 following the postponement of the previous week’s fixtures due to frozen pitches.

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