DUWRFC setting the bar high

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The final whistle blowing at 2:20pm on Wednesday 7th November marked a historic moment for DUWRFC.

A 34 –10 win over rivals Northumbria in the local derby, following the previous weeks thrashing of varsity rivals Loughborough 69 – 0, secured their position at the top of the league as the only undefeated team left in the premier league.

The celebrations continued as from the 2nd and 3rd teams came in – both victorious! The triple win left Durham women’s rugby undefeated.

Most DU players will have never touched a rugby ball before coming to university

It’s not unusual for the 1st XV’s team to be rubbing shoulders with the national champions playing in the premier league, always hungry for their own chance to play at Twickenham.

However, success and ambition can be found across the entire club – last year, the first ever women’s 3rd team for rugby in the UK was entered into the league.

Regularly playing against the 1st teams of other universities, these players have helped to build a reputation for Durham university as both an elite-playing and development-focused club.

There is no doubt that our strong college system has been crucial to this success.

Most DU players will have never touched a rugby ball before coming to university and herein lies the best part of the club – the opportunity to excel in a completely new sport without needing years of experience.

The work that gets put into encouraging and developing players spreads down into college sport and out into the community, with players coaching in local schools and helping to set up a local girls and ladies side at Durham RFC.

It’s a lot for an entirely student- run club, but the motivation comes from a real love for the game and an understanding of the difference that a hard work ethic can make in our university and local community.

Nowhere is this more visible than in DUWRFC’s recent ‘This Girl Can’ campaign. In conjunction with County Durham sport, the team are highlighting some of the personal journeys of their players.

From struggling with body image, ill health and confidence these players have been brave enough to start a new sport and succeed in what is often perceived to be a male dominated and marginalised environment.

The stereotypes for female rugby players can be unkind, something which puts many girls off, particularly at school age.

However, seeing the athleticism, sportsmanship and composure of the girls as they come up against big names like Edinburgh, Loughborough and Northumbria shows that there is infinitely more to them than most people realise.

The rugby community is close knit one, with many players ending the game and greeting members of the opposition who they know from home clubs, premiership team and even fellow international players.

Indeed, DUWRFC boasts an impressive line-up of premiership and internationally capped players both in the ranks of current players and alumni.

Without the constant drive to get all women playing rugby, England, Scotland, Hong Kong, UAE and more may have missed out on some star players.

It is this work ethic, this desire for excellence, that has continued DUWRFC’s success as we reach the end of the first term of the year.

On 14th November we saw all three teams win again, maintaining the club’s unbeaten start to the year.

Without the constant drive to get all women playing rugby, England, Scotland, Hong Kong, UAE and more may have missed out on some star players.

In amongst these wins was the 1st team’s first win away at Edinburgh in five years, showing just how far this group of ladies has come, and just how good they actually are!

And so, as if you needed another excuse to support one of the UK’s premier university sides, here it is.

Come down to Maiden Castle for the chance to see some of the world’s best rugby players starting off, and the chance to say I saw her first.

Photograph: Mark Bunting

One thought on “DUWRFC setting the bar high

  • Great article! Keep going!

    Reply

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