Ceri Large to skipper Gloucester-Hartpury Women against Wasps Ladies at Kingsholm
It’s a big weekend for Gloucester-Hartpury Women who take on Wasps Ladies at Kingsholm (kick off 5:20pm), looking to keep their Tyrrells Premier 15s play-off hopes alive. Ceri Large will captain the side.
The league has taken a break due to the Six Nations, so Susie Appleby’s side are in action for the first time in almost two months. And there’s a lot riding on the game with Wasps in fourth place and Gloucester-Hartpury in fifth.
Appleby is able to call upon a number of players who have been on Six Nations duty with Tatyana Heard, Mo Hunt and Kelly Smith (England) all named in the starting line-up as well as Cerys Hale, Kelsey Jones and Bethan Lewis (Wales) and Katie Dougan (Scotland).
The significance of the game isn’t lost upon Appleby, who is hoping for a large number of Gloucester Rugby fans to stick around after their game against Wasps to support her side.
“It has been a long time since we last played in the Prem 15s way back in January. The Six Nations has passed, players have been away and represented their countries and we are at last back together for the penultimate game of the regular season.
“And what better place to come together than Kingsholm? For the first ever double header in Tyrrell’s history, Gloucester Rugby v Wasps men and Gloucester-Hartpury v Wasps Ladies.
“We are all very excited and can’t wait to get out there. We are under no illusions of the task in front of us, Wasps are a quality side boasting World Cup winners in Nolli Waterman and Rocky Clark, alongside current international players Clare Molloy, Claudia MacDonald, Amy Cokayne and Abi Dow in fantastic form this season. They have a good blend of power and pace across their squad.
“We are fielding a vastly changed pack from the team who played Richmond eight weeks ago, as we welcome back Kelsey, Beth and Cerys from International duty with Wales, and Katie Dougan with Scotland.
“Iona Antwis, Emma Sing and Elle Febrey have all played for England Under 20s over the past few weeks. They are joined by another young academy player Georgia Brock and, of course Sian Williams the lynchpin at number eight. Emily Underwood has been in excellent form since joining us before Xmas and retains the number one shirt.
“Grand Slam champions Mo Hunt, Kelly Smith and Tat Heard have been in excellent form for England, and are part of what we believe is the most exciting and dangerous backs line in the league. Add Dyddgu, Ellie and Millie to the equation and anything can happen.
“Ceri Large steers the ship from 10 – the experience Ceri brings is invaluable, and perfectly complements the five 17/18 year olds in our squad.
“We’ve asked the players to bring energy and intensity to our performance on Saturday, and to put it on the field for 80 minutes. We have to be consistent because any lapses and Wasps will make us pay.
“The challenge is to hit the ground running, everybody is very aware of our league position but all we are focusing on is the performance first and foremost. It would be brilliant if people stayed behind after the Gloucester Rugby game to give us some support, it would mean the world to the girls.
“Both Wasps and Gloucester-Hartpury play an exciting brand of rugby and I know we are in for a real treat on Saturday afternoon.”
15. Dyddgu Hywel; 14. Ellie Underwood, 13. Millie Wood, 12. Tatyana Heard, 11. Kelly Smith; 10. Ceri Large (capt), 9. Mo Hunt; 1. Emily Underwood, 2. Kelsey Jones, 3. Katie Dougan; 4. Iona Antwis, 5. Cerys Hale; 6. Georgia Brock, 7. Bethan Lewis, 8. Sian Williams (vice-capt)
16. Ranni Samuda, 17. Elle Febrey, 18. Charlotte Faux, 19. Caitlin Simpson, 20. Tara Godby, 21. Jess Cooksey, 22. Emma Sing
Wasps travel to Gloucester-Hartpury in an important clash as the Premier 15s returns after the Six Nations. They welcome back a number of players that have been representing international and invitational sides over the past six weeks. The fixture will prove crucial in the play-off race this season, with Wasps knowing a big win would seal their top four spot with a game to go.
The game takes added significance as it takes place at Kingsholm Stadium, following the Gallagher Premiership fixture between Gloucester and Wasps. It will be the first of its kind, as the women’s fixture shadows the men’s for both teams.
Wasps have made just three changes to the starting side that took part in a thrilling encounter with Harlequins back in January. The backline remains unchanged, with two of Wasps England players returning from international duty in Abby Dow and Claudia MacDonald.
There are two changes in the back row as Liz Crake returns at number eight after a period out with injury. Claire Molloy, who was named in Scrum Queens Six Nations Team of the Tournament, also is back in the side at flanker. The two pose a real threat going forward, having scored 12 tries already this season between them.
The final change sees Amy Cokayne starting at hooker, fresh off scoring at Twickenham Stadium last weekend.
On the bench, Andrea Stock could make her first appearance for the club and Cliodhna Moloney returns from time out. Gemma Rowland completes her return from a long recovery after showing fantastic form for the development side.
Gloucester-Hartpury have won one of their three fixtures so far in 2019, having suffered a narrow loss at home to Saracens, before drawing with Richmond at the Athletic Ground in round 16. Earlier this season Wasps first half performance earned them a 26-10 win over Gloucester-Hartpury at Twyford Avenue.
Wasps are currently in the final playoff spot with two games left to go in the season. Gloucester-Hartpury sit directly behind them in fifth place, two points back. In order to make the playoff spot safe before the final game of the season, Wasps need to win by four clear league points at Kingsholm.
15. Nolli Waterman 14. Abby Dow 13. Louise Dodd 12. Kate Alder 11. Tova Derk 10. Lizzie Goulden 9. Claudia Macdonald 8. Liz Crake 7. Claire Molloy 6. Sarah Mitchelson 5. Nora Baltruweit 4. Alice Sheffield 3. Hannah West 2. Amy Cokayne 1. Claire Purdy
16. Rocky Merchant-Clark 17. Andrea Stock 18. Clodhna Moloney 19. Emily Maisey 20. Deidre Roberts 21. Gemma Rowland 22. Kendall Templeman
|23/03/2019||5:30 pm||Premier 15s||2018-19|