Talent takeover – Hartpury starlets make up more than half of England Women’s Under-20s squad

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Hartpury talent makes up more than half of the England Women’s Under-20s rugby squad picked to face the Army Women next week.

Flanker Sarah Bern (Esher) will play at openside flanker for the clash on Tuesday, February 17th at Aldershot Stadium, while her colleagues on Hartpury’s hugely successful Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) Women’s Rugby programme – fellow students May Campbell (Bristol) and Zoe Aldcroft (Hartpury) – have been named on the replacements bench.

Bern is joined in the starting line-up by seven former Hartpury students – scrum-half Caity Mattinson (Darlington Mowden Park), lock Amy Wigley (Worcester), centre Millie Wood (Lichfield), fly-half Sarah Nicholas (Lichfield), props Abbie Parsons (Bristol) and Amy Cokayne (Lichfield) and blindside flanker Abi Walker (Worcester).

Former Hartpury A-level student Cokayne could also make her senior England women’s debut this Sunday, having been named on the bench for their Six Nations clash with Italy at the Twickenham Stoop (2pm kick-off, February 15th).

Under-20s replacements Lucy Nye (Lichfield), Henrietta Burkinshaw (Lichfield) and Devon Holt (Bristol) are also products of Hartpury’s AASE programme.

England Under-20s will also play France home and away in February and March and contest an international summer tour.

Peter Cook, who heads up the AASE Women’s Rugby programme at Hartpury, said: “It’s quite incredible that 20 of the selections for England women’s next games – the senior set-up and the Under-20s – have all learned their trade at Hartpury. It’s a reflection of the strength and quality of our AASE programme and with news like this, its reputation will only continue to grow.

“It makes everyone at Hartpury proud that we have played such a key role in the development of these hugely talented young players and we look forward to continue watching them go from strength to strength as they move forward with their international careers.”

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