There will be plenty of University of Bath interest when the Women’s Rugby World Cup is contested in Ireland over the next two weeks.
Defending champions England feature in the opening match against Spain on Wednesday (2pm) and will be captained by Sarah Hunter, the RFU University Rugby Development Officer for the South West who is based at the Sports Training Village when not contracted to England Rugby.
The number eight will be joined in the back row for the Spain match by Izzy Noel-Smith, a Coach Education & Sports Development graduate.
Two further alumnae, Natasha Hunt (Coach Education & Sports Development) and Amy Wilson-Hardy (Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering), are also in the 28-strong Roses squad along with Poppy Cleall, who is starting a Sports Performance degree at the University in September.
The second match of the tournament also takes place on Wednesday (2.45pm) and sees New Zealand take on a Wales side featuring University of Bath women’s 1st XV coach Caryl Thomas at prop and Gemma Rowland – supported by the Talented Athletic Scholarship Scheme (TASS) at the University – at centre.
Thomas, who also works for the Bath Rugby Foundation, led the women’s 1st XV to victory in the BUCS league, cup and 7s competitions last season.
England also face Italy on Sunday (2.30pm) and the United States on Thursday, August 17 (2.30pm) in Pool B, while Wales’ other Pool A matches are against Canada on Sunday (5pm) and Hong Kong on Thursday, August 17 (5.15pm).
— Mitch Smith (@MitchSmith141) August 3, 2017