South West Girls Rugby


Liskeard and Tavistock victors in HSBC South West Girls Regional tournament
Cornwall's Liskeard School and Devon's Tavistock College are celebrating after winning the Year 7 and Year 10 HSBC South West Girls Rugby Festival on Wednesday at Broadplain RFC.

Liskeard School lifted the Year 7 crown after a seeing off Somerset's Hugh Sexey in the final, while Tavistock College won a round-robin tournament. Both schools were presented with their award by England Women's international Sophie Hemming, who plays for Bristol.

Both schools will now go through to a national finals day staged at Staines RFC. The top teams from that will then meet on the pitch at Twickenham, in front of a 40,000 crowd on the day of the annual Army v Navy match in May.

Also involved on the day were Castle School (Bristol/Gloucestershire), Dartmouth College (Devon), Newquay Tretherras School (Cornwall) and Hugh Sexey Middle School (Somerset) in the Year 7 tournament.

In the Year 10 tournament Backwell School (Somerset), Bournemouth School for Girls (Dorset & Wilts) and Newquay Tretherras School (Cornwall) competed for glory against Tavistock College.

Gregg Bayliss, the RFU's Rugby Development Officer for North Gloucestershire, said: "This was a great opportunity for girls to play against each other from across the South West. It was a great day, enjoyed by all.

"Somerset side Backwell did particularly well, coming into the competition at such late notice with several of their players never having played rugby before.

"Everyone involved would also like to extend their thanks to Broadplain RFC, who did a tremendous job in hosting this event and providing so many volunteers, especially club members Ron Coles and Martin Knowles."

This festival, which is one of many being staged across the country, is supported by HSBC, the Principal Partner of the British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa in 2009.

This is the first time that a grass roots campaign spans all four home unions, as well as South Africa. The programme will reach more than 60,000 school children and 3,000 teachers and coaches across 300 youth festivals in the UK and Ireland and forms strong cultural links with schools in South Africa.

In England, the HSBC Rugby Festivals will incorporate the existing RFU Emerging Schools programme that comprises more than 150 individual events. Young players take part in Under-12, 13 and 14 categories at local, county and regional festivals before a national finals day staged at Staines and then the chance to play at Twickenham.

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