University rugby alumni named in England Women squad for Autumn internationals

26 October 2016

University of Bath alumni Natasha Hunt, Izzy Noel-Smith and Amy Wilson Hardy have all been named in the England Women rugby squad for next month’s Old Mutual Wealth Series.

The Red Roses will entertain France, New Zealand and Canada during November, the latter being played at Twickenham following the men’s international against Argentina. They will also visit Dublin to face Ireland in a non-Series fixture.

Sarah Hunter, who trains at the Sports Training Village, will once again lead the side after being confirmed as captain.

Hunt and Wilson Hardy are among the England players who represented Team GB in rugby sevens at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to return to the 15-a-side programme.

Both Hunt and Noel-Smith – who teaches at The Paragon School in Bath – studied Coach Education & Sports Development at the University, while Wilson Hardy graduated in Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering in 2015.

All three represented the University of Bath Women’s Rugby team in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions and were supported by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).

Natasha Hunt, Amy Wilson Hardy and Izzy Noel-Smith have been named in the England Women rugby squad for the 2016 Autumn internationals
(From left) Natasha Hunt, Amy Wilson Hardy and Izzy Noel-Smith

England Women Head Coach Simon Middleton said: “This season is all about building towards the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland next August. In the Old Mutual Wealth Series, we have the opportunity to take on the best sides in the world.

“We have a first-class squad of players and have a number of options and combinations to choose from.

“The arrival of professional contracts for 15-a-side players means that when the players come into camp next week, we will remain together as a squad for the duration of the Old Mutual Wealth Series. While we are under no illusion as to the challenge we face, these four tests will provide an integral part of our World Cup preparation ahead of next year.”

England’s matches against France and New Zealand will take place at The Twickenham Stoop on November 9 and 19 respectively, either side of the trip to Ireland on November 13, before the Series concludes against Canada on November 26.

Partners and Suppliers