Lagi Tuima England feature

Sport Scholar Lagi Tuima scoring her debut try for England Seniors

EUWRFC shine on the international stage

With Caity Mattinson, Lagi Tuima and Poppy Leitch named as part of the Women’s 6 Nations training squad alongside Exeter alumnae and BUCS 2013 Gold medal winning captain Amber Reed and 1st year Hollie Cunningham named in the England U20s fixtures against the Army and France, EUWRFC are shining on the international stage.

Caity Mattinson was named in the opening fixture for the Red Roses 6 Nations campaign for their title defence against Italy and came off the bench in the second half to help England to a dominant 42-7 victory, which included 7 tries. Lagi Tuima made a welcome return from injury to line up alongside Caity in the Red Roses 2nd fixture against Wales. Also sporting the Exeter flag in the Welsh side was alumae Rebecca De Filippo who started at 12 for the visitors. Again the Red Roses took another convincing win 52-0 to continue their title defence. Both Caity and Lagi made appearances in the 2nd half, securing valuable game time and experience at senior international level.  In her 1st start at senior international level against Scotland Lagi also made it a day to remember with her 1st senior international try. Beating several defenders on her way to a brilliant solo effort Lagi showed what she can do with hands on the ball in an England shirt. Exeter alumnae Amber Reed also on the injury comeback lined up for her 1st appearance 6 Nations appearance of 2018. Facing France on their home turf was always going to be a tough battle and with a record breaking crowd of 17, 440 in the Stade de France it was a fantastic atmosphere for an intense match. England had the lead 17-13 heading into the final few minutes but France’s Jessy Tremouliere went over the line in the 79th minute to give France an 18-17 victory. Alumnae Amber Reed started at centre continuing her return to Six Nations action with current Exeter students Caity and Lagi again making match day squad of 23. In the final Six Nations fixture against Ireland Caity Mattinson and Lagi Tuima both earned a spot in the starting line-up. England ran out a dominant victory against Ireland with Exeter alumnae Amber Reed coming off the bench to score in the 2nd half. Finishing their 2018 6 Nations with a bonus point 33-11 win against Ireland wasn’t enough to snatch the title from France who took a comprehensive victory of 38-3 against Wales and England took the runners up spot for the overall series.

Reflecting on her 1st 6 Nations competition Sports Scholar and MSc Sport and Health Science student Caity Mattinson commented “It’s been a huge honour and privilege to have been involved in this year’s 6 Nations. Both personally and as a squad we were incredibly disappointed to have lost out on the opportunity to take the title but I have learnt so much from the whole experience. I have a lot to work on for the remaining games of the season and I’m excited to be able to use some of the experiences from the tournament to help me in our last Bristol game and the BUCS final”.

The U20s led by head coach and University of Exeter’s Head of Rugby Jo Yapp ran in 8 tries against the British Army, taking a 44-0 win. In challenging conditions including driving rain and strong winds England remained clinical in attack and were disciplined in defence to prevent the Army getting on the board. It was a record breaking win away in France for in the 2ndfixture of the season away where England U20s beat an extremely tough French side 27-20, the first U20’s win in France in their history.  With the return fixture on home soil England were hoping to take the double victory but France fought back and took the win 17-10 in a tightly contested match.  EUWRFC’s very own 1st year Exercise and Sport Sciences student Hollie Cunningham made the starting line up at 4 in all fixtures in her 2nd season with the England U20s.

University of Exeter Women’s Rugby and England U20s S&C coach Wayne Pattinson commented “All the girls who have come through the U20’s programme, have developed significantly both on and off the pitch and are role models for younger players in the performance pathway. Many of the U20s players are also in University performance squads including our own Exeter girls and it’s great to see them representing their Universities and Tyrell’s Premiership 15s clubs so well on the international stage”.

Summarising a great year so far for University of Exeter Women’s Rugby head coach for Exeter and England U20s Jo Yapp commented “"As a club we are a very proud of our current students Lagi and Caity that have represented England in the recent 6 nations and Hollie in the U20s, alongside other Alumnae students like Amber Reed. The girls are key members of the club and the experiences they have gained during this period will be really valuable"

EUWRFC now go onto the BUCS Championship final at Twickenham to face Hartpury College and University Centre for the title having come through a tough semi-final clash against 2016-2017 BUCS Champions the University of Edinburgh. The match is 3pm start at Twickenham on Wednesday 11th April with the men’s BUCS Championship final at 5.30pm.

Date: 27 March 2018

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