Devon female rugby trio take first steps on England footpath
WOMEN rugby players from the Plymouth area are taking another step along the trail to England stardom tomorrow.
Courtney Gill (pictured above), Daisy Fahey and Mia Lawrence could all benefit from the RFU's women's divisional programme.
The programme, which helps create a footpath for talented young players from their local clubs to an England shirt, will see the trio play in a series of round-robin games for their region.
Gill, formerly of Tavistock RFC and now of Worcester and Gloucestershire, has been picked for the South West seniors.
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In the under-18s, Fahey of Devonport Services gets the call, while Plymouth Albion's Lawrence is set to appear for the under-15s.
There are four rounds of matches between now and the conclusion of the programme in late March.
The seniors play three fixtures each, as do the under-18s where the overriding emphasis is on player development over results.
The U15s will kick off as part of the triple-header tomorrow and play two further matches on their second and final fixture date, March 24.
Gary Street, England head coach, said: "The RFU's Women's and Girls' Player Pathway can see players progressing from club rugby to representing their county, their division and even their country."
England's senior team are the reigning champions and seven-times consecutive winners of the Women's Six Nations Championship, and they beat world champions New Zealand in an historic 3-0 series whitewash last autumn.
Players who have graduated from the divisional programme through to the England senior squad include Emily Braund, Ceri Large, Amber Reed, Jenny Brightmore, Lauren Cattell, Hannah Gallagher, Kate Newton, Sally Tuson, Ruth Laybourne and Alex Matthews.
The South West start with a triple header against London South East, but the games are only part of the development programme.
Players will also receive advice and training.