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Girls get ready to join the ruck

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Rugby targets new women players in 'Warriors' scheme

ENGLAND bid for Women’s World Cup glory this month and later this summer Newbury Rugby Club will be opening their doors to local women and girls in a bid to help them free their inner warriors.

Developed by England Rugby, the Free Your Inner Warrior campaign is aimed at women and girls between the ages of 18 and 35 to encourage greater female participation in contact rugby across the country.

From August 18 to September 3, 174 Warrior Camps will take place at rugby clubs across England, encouraging women and girls to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves through rugby – all you need to take part are your trainers and workout gear.

Newbury will be holding their event at their Monks Lane ground on Thursday, August 31, starting at 7pm.

More than 2,600 women took part in 150 Warrior Camps held across the country in May, vastly exceeding the RFU’s target of 1,500 players and 7,000 women have attended rugby training sessions over the past 18 months, with 3,000 arriving as newcomers to the game.

There has also been a 48 per cent conversion rate of new rugby players becoming club members, and 41 new women’s teams founded at senior level.

The RFU are striving to continue expanding the number of females involved in the sport, hoping to draw inspiration from England’s Women’s World Cup campaign, and the continued success of the inner warrior campaign is a top priority.

Steve Grainger, RFU rugby development director, said: “The Meet Your Inner Warrior campaign has given hundreds of new players the chance to try rugby through Warrior Camps, introducing them to the basics of the game.

“Almost 50 per cent of these new rugby players have joined local rugby clubs since the camps began in January, helping to form 41 new adult women’s teams.

“It’s encouraging to see a large number of our Warrior Camp women playing rugby regularly following their taster sessions. It certainly demonstrates rugby’s appeal for women, and the fact that we are making the sport available for females across the country.”

“With the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland taking place during the August Warrior Camps, I hope the Red Roses’ performance will inspire women and girls across the nation to take part in the sport.”

The Warrior Camps are non-committal rugby taster sessions for women considering taking up contact rugby and signing up details for the local camp are at www.EnglandRugby.com/InnerWarrior

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