England women’s team will use Castleford RUFC as training base

The England women's team pictured during their autumn tour.
The England women's team pictured during their autumn tour.

CASTLEFORD RUFC will play a big part in England women’s rugby union team’s preparations for the Rugby World Cup in Ireland next August.

On 12 separate days from January to April, World Cup holders England women, now known as the Red Roses, will use Castleford’s Willowbridge Lane ground as a training base for their forwards who live in the north of England.

The Whitwood-based club has described it as “a great honour.”

Matt Ferguson, England women’s assistant coach said: “We are determined that we prepare fully for the defence of the World Cup and when discussing our plans our forwards wanted to meet regularly to train as a unit and we are happy that Castleford RUFC can help us. It goes beyond the club’s accessible location as we want our players to be able to prepare in a homely, welcoming and comfortable environment and Castleford fits the bill completely.

“All the players started their rugby careers at grass root rugby clubs and it will remind them of the hard work that they have put in to get to where they are and ground them for the intense effort that will be required in the months ahead.”

Steve Ball, girls’ and women’s rugby lead at Castleford RUFC, said: “This is a great honour and we jumped at the chance of helping out England women.

“There will be no better proof of the possible player pathway that there is provided nowadays for girls by the RFU.

“The presence of the Red Roses using their own club will be a terrific boost for our players and it will also help us promote our new initiative to establish a ladies’ team.

“We welcome the offer by Matt and the England women players to hold open training sessions and we will be working with local schools to generate interest and facilitate access to the sessions for their pupils to promote rugby in our area.”

The first training sessions will be at Castleford RUFC on Wednesday, January 11, and Friday, January 13.

They will also train at the Willowbridge Lane ground on January 19 and 20, March 29 and 31 and on six days the following month on April 5, 7, 12, 14, 19 and 21.

England Women will compete in the Six Nations as part of their World Cup preparations.

This season’s schedule of fixtures replicates the senior men and under 20 teams, with the Red Roses getting the Championship underway against title holders France at Twickenham on Saturday, Febrary 4.

Further details relating to Castleford RUFC can be obtained from Steve Ball, 07707927090 or stephenball85@live.com. More information about the the Women’s Rugby World Cup can be found at www.rwcwomens.com