Amber Reed has represented England on a number of occasions over the last 12 months. Image courtesy of rugbymatters.net

Reed and Saynor get England call ups

Women’s Rugby at the University of Exeter has received another boost following the selection of players Amber Reed and Zoe Saynor for England’s international summer tour squads.

The pair both formed an integral part of the University of Exeter’s Women’s Rugby Team which won the British Universities and Colleges Sport Championship, following a nail-biting final at Twickenham, in March.

However, despite competing together for the University first team the girls will not be playing side by side, or even in the same country as they make their mark for England in different events, on different continents.

England regular, Amber Reed (3rd year, Exercise and Sports Sciences) will travel to New Zealand in July for a three match test series against reigning world champions the New Zealand Black Ferns. The third year centre has a strong record against the Ferns, forming part of the squad who defeated them 3:0 in the autumn internationals last year.

The match will offer crucial preparation for the England team, who are already preparing for the World Cup in 2014. Amber, who will travel down-under for the first time with the side is relishing the challenge. She said: “It is a massive honour to be called up for the England squad to tour New Zealand. It is a new experience for me, travelling to New Zealand, but an opportunity that I hope to make the most of following on from the Six Nations campaign.

“After our successful autumn international series it will be good to challenge the reigning world champions on their home soil. It is going to be a tough tour playing against world class opposition but one I feel we can make the most of as part of a squad looking forward to 2014.”

Following this, Zoe Saynor (3rd year PhD, Exercise testing and training for paediatric Cystic Fibrosis Patients) will travel to Denver, Colorado to make her international debut at the Nations Cup, as part of the championship defending squad against Canada, USA and South Africa.

Despite only attending one England training session prior to selection, the second row has constantly demonstrated her capability this season as part of the RFU’s incredibly successful divisional programme and for the Bristol Premiership team.

Joining eight other debutants in a young side that will undoubtedly be eager to impress, Zoe commented: “I was initially very shocked and my progress through the system has been quite fast. However, my ultimate sporting goal has always been to strive to play international rugby.

“It is a great honour to have been chosen as a member of the squad for the Nations Cup tour and I relish the opportunity to show my potential in the most competitive and challenging of environments.”

Speaking about her team mate’s performance, University captain Amber expressed her joy in seeing a team mate join the international ranks. She commented: “I am delighted for Zoe as I have seen first-hand her commitment and willingness to learn over the previous few years. I hope that she enjoys the experience and will treasure the memories as opportunities like this don’t come round often.”

Rugby is one of the University of Exeter’s focus sports receiving dedicated training and support from the University’s High Performance Unit, including women’s coach and former England Captain Jo Yapp.

Assistant Director of Sport (Performance and Competitions) Nick Beasant said: “We are extremely proud of our women’s rugby programme at the University of Exeter. It has been a really successful season for the girls, currently ranked second in BUCS and with a number of regional and these international call ups showing the pedigree of our players.

“We have an exceptional coach in Jo and she continues to maximise our player development, making Exeter players the logical choice for international honours. We wish them the best of luck, particularly Amber who is graduating from Exeter this summer. We will be following their progress closely throughout their campaigns.”

Date: 30 May 2013

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