Thu, 19 Sept 2019
FORMER Hungerford RFC player Carys Cox believes women’s rugby is continuing to move in the right direction.
Cox plays for Worcester Warriors Women – formerly known as Worcester Valkyries – who ply their trade in the Tyrrells Premier 15, which kicks off this weekend.
Worcester, along with Saracens, will be paying their players from this season, making it the first time that female players at English rugby clubs will be receiving money.
It’s another huge statement in women’s rugby and Cox admitted that it was only a matter of time before it had to happen.
She said: “It’s an absolutely massive step that we’ll be getting paid and, like I said, I hope the other clubs will be able to follow this so it can set a trend.
“Every single girl travels some distance to train with the club and that shows that it is purely for enjoyment.
“But to get paid for it now is a massive step and it’s nice that the club are giving something back to us.”
There have been a number of changes by Worcester ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, with a name change being one of them.
And since making the change, the former Park House pupil believes it shows how much the sport has developed over recent years.
“It’s a lot better now,” she said. “The men have started supporting the women now and the club are also doing their best to help us too.
“They’re doing art pieces for our work, trying to bring in sponsorship and it’s really good that the men are now supporting us.
“I know Saracens are doing the same – we’re just hoping that all of the other clubs will be able to follow,” she added.
Warriors begin their new campaign with a trip to Wasps on Saturday, and Cox has expressed her delight with it all starting again.
“I am ridiculously excited about the new season,” admitted Cox. “Our first game is at Wasps and we’re hoping to have a successful game.
“We want to be successful as a team so we can improve together and make sure that we get our structure right.
“Everyone is ready to get going.”
Pre-season has been difficult for Cox, who has also represented England under-20s, but she feels that everything is now falling into place.
She said: “It has been quite intense because we have had a lot of training sessions, but it has been successful in the sense that our structure and plays are starting to come together now.
“We’re just hoping that it can all come together on game day this weekend.
“Both teams have changed quite a lot, so it’ll be very unpredictable and I don’t think either team will know what to expect.”
Worcester, who have finished bottom for the two previous seasons, will be aiming to finish clear of last place this time round.
And Cox is hoping to play her part in the new season, with a number of goals and ambitions already in place.
She said: “I want to enjoy the season and be able to say that I have started every game for the first team and I want to make sure that I can train well enough to make that happen.
“It’s the main goal for me, but I also have individual goals, which include my tackling rate and attacking aims,” she said.
“They are more aimed to my rugby game and my position.”
With changes in the squad over the summer and Cox remaining at the club from last season, she feels that the new players have settled well.
She said: “We have a really open environment at Worcester because it’s very friendly and very welcoming and it’s good because other people have noticed that when they have moved from other clubs.
“The girls are lovely and it makes it more enjoyable,” she added.