Talent takeover – Hartpury products set to shine for Great Britain up against student stars from around the world


Past, present and future Hartpury talent makes up 75% of the Great Britain Rugby 7s team that will compete at the FISU World University Rugby 7s Championships in Wales next month.

These include current Hartpury University Centre students, England Under-20s starlet, full-back Kelly Smith (studying a Physical Education and School Sport degree) and Wales’ senior player, fly-half or centre Hannah Jones (Sports Therapy degree student), who have both made the squad for the prestigious tournament, which runs from July 6th to 9th in Swansea.

They are joined in the squad of 12 by Abigail Walker, Milly Wood, Devon Holt, Lucy Nye, Tatyana Heard and Sydney Gregson, who all came through the hugely successful AASE women’s rugby programme at Hartpury, Gregson going on to play for England at senior level. Also in the line-up is Rebecca Defilippo, who is set to join Hartpury in September to study for a Masters in Strength and Conditioning.

And the Hartpury connections do not end there as the team representing Great Britain will be coached by former England women’s rugby international, Susie Appleby, who now heads up the university women’s rugby programme at Hartpury and is head coach for Gloucester-Hartpury women’s team.

Susie said: “It’s fantastic for Kelly and Hannah to have this opportunity to represent Great Britain and Hartpury University Centre on the international stage. The fact that so many players who have come through the Hartpury ranks have had their talent and commitment recognised by being named in this squad is testament to the strength and quality of our programmes across the College and University Centre.

“I’m looking forward to playing a part as they continue to develop their international credentials and hopefully coaching them to success in the World University Rugby 7s. The squad is certainly packed with exciting players from universities across the UK and I’m privileged to have been asked to coach them.”

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