After two home wins, against Wasps and Richmond, Gloucester-Hartpury Women are on the road on Saturday afternoon, taking on Bristol Ladies at Ashton Gate (kick-off 4:15pm) in the latest round of Tyrrells Premier 15s action.
Head Coach Susie Appleby keeps faith with the majority of the team that secured a bonus point victory over Richmond last weekend.
It’s a big weekend for Abi Burton, however, as the 17-year-old comes into the starting line-up at number eight, allowing Sian Williams to switch to her preferred position of openside. Abi is a member of the Junior Academy and put in a big performance against Bristol A last weekend.
Also getting a first start in the back row is Beth Lewis, the captain of the Wales U18s 7s squad who won bronze at the Commonwealth Games this summer. Beth is one of the players at University at Hartpury, combining further education with top flight rugby.
Meanwhile, in the backs, Becky Belcher is ruled out due to illness so Mary-Ann Gittings moves from full-back to wing with Ellie Kildunne, scorer of a sensational solo score last week, wearing the number 15 shirt.
Head Coach Susie Appleby is looking forward to seeing how her team performs against another one of the big names in the Tyrrells Premier 15s.
“I am really excited by our new additions this week. Abi Burton was outstanding last weekend and deserves an opportunity in the first team. We’ve been waiting for Beth Lewis to be available following her International commitments and I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do.”
“Ellie Kildunne was also outstanding off the bench so gets an opportunity to start. Abi and Ellie are a product of our junior academy and Beth has just joined us for Uni. All are taking full advantage of studying and training full time, which Hartpury allows them to do.”
“We’ve had three good wins and are happy with where we are at, but we know we have a lot more to come.”
“We are a young side developing every week. Bristol are going to be a huge challenge for us this Saturday, especially at Ashton Gate. They were finalists last year and have some outstanding players, we are looking forward to getting out there and giving it everything we have.”
For those planning to go to the game, Bristol Rugby are charging £10 for entry to the double header (Bristol Rugby are playing London Scottish beforehand).
We have been advised that the Ticket Office will close after the men’s game and any supporters who only want to attend the women’s game must buy in advance or purchase online.
Only the Lansdown Stand will remain open for the women’s game.
Tickets are available from: https://tickets.bristol-sport.co.uk/categories/bristolrugbyhome