England international rugby player and former Hartpury College student Millie Wood is delighted to be back ‘home’ after signing for Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC.
Millie, who came through Hartpury’s highly successful women’s rugby programme while studying A-levels, said she couldn’t be happier about playing in the Tyrrells Premier 15s for her local team.
“It’s great to be back,” said Cheltenham-born Millie, who also supports Gloucester Rugby, which has its training base at Hartpury University and Hartpury College.
“I spent a lot of my early rugby career here at Hartpury, learning how to play and developing. I’ve been on quite a rugby journey since leaving here, but being back is great.”
Millie is bringing the wealth of experience she has gained on the international stage while playing for England Sevens and England Under-20s.
She is excited about trying to help the Gloucester-Hartpury players build upon the success they enjoyed in the inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s last season, when they reached the end-of-season play-offs.
Gloucester-Hartpury face their fourth league game of the season this Saturday at home match at Hartpury College against Loughborough Lightning (kick-off 1pm).
“I’ve been to some incredible places with the England Sevens team and I’m very grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given,” said Millie.
“But this is another new opportunity at Gloucester-Hartpury and I’ll embrace it with open arms and see where it leads me and what sort of rugby player I can become.
“The England Sevens squad watched quite a few games last season – I came to see Gloucester-Hartpury several times – so we kept in touch with the 15-a-side game and watched it develop last season.
“It’s really exciting to come back and know that I’m stepping into something that is really going to take off – it’s such an exciting opportunity.”
A succession of former and current international players have come through the women’s rugby programme at Hartpury, including current Italy player Bianca Coltellini.
This season’s England Women’s Sevens squad features seven players with links to Hartpury University and Hartpury College – Ellie Kildunne, Abbie Brown, Natasha Hunt, Abi Burton, Megan Jones, Alex Matthews and current BA (Hons) Sports Business Management degree student Holly Aitchison.
Picture: Millie Wood