Hartpury rugby players target more success in Japan

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Hartpury College students are heading to Japan to compete in an international rugby tournament – just weeks after winning a national title. 

The Women’s Under-18s rugby squad have been invited to join teams from Canada, Russia, New Zealand and Japan in the 2019 Sanix World Rugby Youth Tournament.

Hartpury College, which offers diplomas in the areas of sport, equine, animal, Uniformed Public Services and Outdoor Adventure, Access to Higher Education, and agriculture, along with a range of A-levels, won the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens for the fifth time in six years earlier this month.

The squad will be looking to build upon that momentous achievement as the UK’s only representative in the seven-a-side rugby tournament in Japan, which starts on 28 April.

Laura-Jane Lewis, the manager of the Women’s Rugby Academy at Hartpury College, said: “We competed in the tournament in 2017 and finished third overall, when the squad included now full-time England Sevens players Ellie Kildunne and Abi Burton.

“The girls have been working hard since the start of the year and they gained their rewards with the success at Rosslyn Park.

“Our squad is an exciting mix of experienced players who have been getting weekly game time in the Tyrrells Premier 15s league and young exciting players who just love to play.

“Our main focus will be to put on some exciting performances and representing Hartpury to the highest standard possible.”

In addition to Ellie Kildunne and Abi Burton, four other players with links to Hartpury are members of the England Women’s Sevens squad for the 2018-19 season –  Abbie Brown, Megan Jones, Alex Matthews and Holly Aitchison.

Students at Hartpury have access to a wide range of state-of-the-art training facilities, including a power gym, a performance analysis suite, spa baths and artificial all-weather pitches.

As well as top level coaching and exceptional sports facilities, students have access to performance services that can include physiotherapy, sports psychology, nutrition advice and strength and conditioning.

In addition, timetables can be tailored to help students achieve their full potential in both their academic and sporting pursuits.

Hartpury College squad, 2019 Sanix World Rugby Invitational Youth Tournament: Jess Cooksey (captain), Emma Sing, Charlie Manns, Mia Venner, Elle Jay Browning, Sioned Jones, Daisy Riley, Eleanor Bonnett, Leah Teague, Taylor Briggs, Isabel Mackinder, Alicia Maude.

Picture: Current students in the Women's Rugby Academy at Hartpury

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