Natasha ‘Mo’ Hunt has been named Premier 15s Player of the Year at the Rugby Players Association (RPA) Awards held in London last Tuesday (16 May 2023), following a stellar campaign as co-captain for Gloucester-Hartpury, where to date they have lost only once. It’s been a busy season for Mo who also coached the Hartpury University women’s rugby team to win back-to-back National League titles.
Speaking after picking up the award, Mo said: “I’m truly honoured to receive this award. I feel very fortunate to be in a team stacked full of world-class talent that makes my job easier.
“To everyone that voted, thank you so much, it means the world. I just love this sport and everyone involved in it.”
Mo’s a Gloucestershire native, having begun her rugby journey at Forest of Dean club, Drybrook RFC. She’s represented England 60 times at international level and has also played for Team GB in sevens at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The 34-year-old has played a significant role for Gloucester-Hartpury, helping to secure their first-ever Allianz Premier 15s playoff spot this season.
Mo has scored seven tries in her 14 league appearances this season and leads the competition for try-assists with 24, which is 14 higher than the next best.
The full list of award winners from the RPA Awards can be found here.
Sean Lynn, Head of Women’s Rugby at Hartpury and Head Coach of Gloucester-Hartpury said: “Huge congratulations to Mo on picking up this well-deserved award following what has been a remarkable season for Gloucester-Hartpury. She’s the ultimate team player, combining exceptional sporting talent with an incredible work ethic.
“We’re incredibly lucky to have Mo at Hartpury as head coach for the women’s university rugby team, and the players benefit massively from her experience and knowledge. Our close ties with top players and coaching staff, combined with the outstanding facilities we’re lucky to have, create the ultimate elite training environment for student athletes.”
Women’s rugby at Hartpury
Hartpury’s well-established women’s rugby academies continue to provide a vital pathway for students to progress from Hartpury College to Hartpury University and potentially even on to Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC, playing in the Allianz Premier 15s. Each student athlete has an opportunity to combine their sporting passions with studying for a college or university-level qualification at an institution with 97% graduate employability (Graduate Outcomes 2022).
Hartpury’s sports facilities were no doubt a factor when the institution was named 3rd in the UK for Facilities as well as 1st for Lecturers and Teaching Quality at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs) 2022.