The England team before the match

Women’s Rugby Scholar Poppy Leitch earns first international cap in Six Nations victory

Women's Rugby Scholar Poppy Leitch has earned her first international cap, having been selected to play for the England team in their recent Six Nations match against Italy. The match saw England continue their winning streak; since the start of the year, the England team have won matches against Scotland (32-0), Italy (33-24) and 2015 champions Ireland (13-9).

Women's Rugby Scholar Poppy Leitch has earned her first international cap, having been selected to play for the England team in their recent Six Nations match against Italy. The match saw England continue their winning streak; since the start of the year, the England team have won matches against Scotland (32-0), Italy (33-24) and 2015 champions Ireland (13-9).

Poppy’s Rugby career has gone from strength to strength during her time at the University of Exeter. She previously played for England U18s and was part of the England U20 team that played the Army Women last month. The latest Six Nations match saw Poppy playing alongside Exeter alumna Amber Reed, who at the time of writing has 27 international caps. Speaking about this latest achievement, Poppy commented: “It was an unforgettable moment, made even more memorable by the people around me. I couldn't have done it without the support of Exeter University and EUWRFC!” Both Reed and Leitch have also been selected for the England squad to face Wales this Saturday 12 March at Twickenham.

Jo Yapp, Women’s Rugby coach at the University of Exeter, was impressed by the result, saying: “As a squad we are all really pleased to see Poppy getting selected for the senior squad. She is a player that has shown great commitment since joining the University of Exeter in September and is a real team player. She works hard in everything she does and thoroughly deserves this achievement.” Yapp herself is a former England international player and squad captain, who gained 70 caps for her country over the course of her sporting career and now coaches up-and-coming athletes at Exeter. In November 2014, she was selected by Sports Coach UK to be part of the UK Sport Aspire Coaching Programme.

Rugby is one of Exeter’s nine focus sports, and in the 2014/15 British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) rankings the institution was ranked 1st for Rugby overall. The University of Exeter Sports Scholarship Scheme is one of the most prestigious in the UK, helping the best student athletes reach their full potential. The scheme provides a comprehensive support package and is tailored to suit the needs of each individual athlete. Many of our graduating scholars have progressed to a professional level in their chosen sport and represented their respective countries on the global stage.

The University of Exeter has been awarded The Times / The Sunday Times Good Universities Guide 2016 Sports University of the Year, following significant investment and development over the past 10 years. The University has also achieved a Global 100 ranking in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The prestigious rankings, which mean Exeter retains its position as best in the South West, take into account a wide range of factors, including student satisfaction and research excellence. 

Date: 10 March 2016

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