England’s Red Roses return to University of Bath for three training camps ahead of Women’s Rugby World Cup
The England Women’s Rugby squad are returning to the University of Bath this week for the first of three mini training camps as they continue to fine-tune their preparations for this Autumn’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
It is the second successive year that the Red Roses have trained at the University and they will once again use the rugby pitches for drills, as well as the Team Bath Gym & Fitness Centre for strength and conditioning work and 50m swimming pool for recovery.
Players, coaches and support staff will stay in accommodation on campus for each of the four-day camps running throughout July as the World Cup – rescheduled from 2021 – gets ever closer.
Head coach Simon Middleton has named a 37-player training squad featuring all 30 contracted players, including Abby Dow who will continue her rehabilitation from a broken leg. Reigning World Rugby player of the year Zoe Aldcroft is included alongside captain Sarah Hunter – who used to train at the Sports Training Village while working as England Rugby’s University Development Officer in the South West – and vice-captain Emily Scarratt.
Among the non-contracted players in the squad is Natasha Hunt, a 2014 Rugby World Cup winner who studied Coach Education & Sports Development at Bath and played for the University in BUCS competition.
Middleton said: “Bath is a great location. We spent some of our pre-season camps there last year, the facilities are excellent and we were made to feel very welcome.
“It goes without saying this is a big season for the Red Roses, with this calendar year alone culminating in the tournament in New Zealand. I’m really happy with the feel of the squad. We have plenty of experience, a sprinkling of really talented young players and players who will be coming back into the set-up after a period out. I feel the balance is very good and the competitive levels will be very high.”