Ceri Large to skipper Gloucester-Hartpury Women against Wasps Ladies at Kingsholm
It’s a big weekend for Gloucester-Hartpury Women who take on Wasps Ladies at Kingsholm (kick off 5:20pm), looking to keep their Tyrrells Premier 15s play-off hopes alive. Ceri Large will captain the side.
The league has taken a break due to the Six Nations, so Susie Appleby’s side are in action for the first time in almost two months. And there’s a lot riding on the game with Wasps in fourth place and Gloucester-Hartpury in fifth.
Appleby is able to call upon a number of players who have been on Six Nations duty with Tatyana Heard, Mo Hunt and Kelly Smith (England) all named in the starting line-up as well as Cerys Hale, Kelsey Jones and Bethan Lewis (Wales) and Katie Dougan (Scotland).
The significance of the game isn’t lost upon Appleby, who is hoping for a large number of Gloucester Rugby fans to stick around after their game against Wasps to support her side.
“It has been a long time since we last played in the Prem 15s way back in January. The Six Nations has passed, players have been away and represented their countries and we are at last back together for the penultimate game of the regular season.
“And what better place to come together than Kingsholm? For the first ever double header in Tyrrell’s history, Gloucester Rugby v Wasps men and Gloucester-Hartpury v Wasps Ladies.
“We are all very excited and can’t wait to get out there. We are under no illusions of the task in front of us, Wasps are a quality side boasting World Cup winners in Nolli Waterman and Rocky Clark, alongside current international players Clare Molloy, Claudia MacDonald, Amy Cokayne and Abi Dow in fantastic form this season. They have a good blend of power and pace across their squad.
“We are fielding a vastly changed pack from the team who played Richmond eight weeks ago, as we welcome back Kelsey, Beth and Cerys from International duty with Wales, and Katie Dougan with Scotland.
“Iona Antwis, Emma Sing and Elle Febrey have all played for England Under 20s over the past few weeks. They are joined by another young academy player Georgia Brock and, of course Sian Williams the lynchpin at number eight. Emily Underwood has been in excellent form since joining us before Xmas and retains the number one shirt.
“Grand Slam champions Mo Hunt, Kelly Smith and Tat Heard have been in excellent form for England, and are part of what we believe is the most exciting and dangerous backs line in the league. Add Dyddgu, Ellie and Millie to the equation and anything can happen.
“Ceri Large steers the ship from 10 – the experience Ceri brings is invaluable, and perfectly complements the five 17/18 year olds in our squad.
“We’ve asked the players to bring energy and intensity to our performance on Saturday, and to put it on the field for 80 minutes. We have to be consistent because any lapses and Wasps will make us pay.
“The challenge is to hit the ground running, everybody is very aware of our league position but all we are focusing on is the performance first and foremost. It would be brilliant if people stayed behind after the Gloucester Rugby game to give us some support, it would mean the world to the girls.
“Both Wasps and Gloucester-Hartpury play an exciting brand of rugby and I know we are in for a real treat on Saturday afternoon.”
15. Dyddgu Hywel; 14. Ellie Underwood, 13. Millie Wood, 12. Tatyana Heard, 11. Kelly Smith; 10. Ceri Large (capt), 9. Mo Hunt; 1. Emily Underwood, 2. Kelsey Jones, 3. Katie Dougan; 4. Iona Antwis, 5. Cerys Hale; 6. Georgia Brock, 7. Bethan Lewis, 8. Sian Williams (vice-capt)
16. Ranni Samuda, 17. Elle Febrey, 18. Charlotte Faux, 19. Caitlin Simpson, 20. Tara Godby, 21. Jess Cooksey, 22. Emma Sing