As England Women prepare for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland in August 2017, Castleford RUFC are playing a part in the preparations. On 12 separate days during January to April 2017 they will host some of the England Women, who will use the club as a training base for their forwards living in the north of England.

Matt Ferguson, England Women’s XV’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 there will be no better proof of the player pathway provided nowadays for girls by the RFU than the Red Roses using our own club. It will help us promote our new initiative to establish a women’s team and welcome the offer by Matt and the England Women players to hold open training sessions and will be working with local schools to generate interest in the sessions for their pupils and promote rugby in our area.“

The England Women’s southern–based forwards southern will be training at the same time at Basingstoke RFC.

The north group includes: Tamara Taylor, Zoe Aldcroft, Abbie Scott, Laura Keates, Justine Lucas, Harriet Millar Mills, Amy Cokayne and Emily Braund.

The south group includes: Sarah Hunter, Marlie Packer, Izzy Noel Smith, Poppy Cleall, Sarah Bern, Vickii Cornborough, Vicky Fleetwood, Alex Matthews and Rocky Clark.