Gareth Anscombe is anticipating a "massive occasion" in Dublin on Saturday, as Cardiff Blues prepare to take on Guinness PRO12 leaders, Leinster, at the RDS Arena (KO 3.00pm).
Welcome to the Girls' rugby page. The 2011/12 season saw further development of girls rugby in order to support the senior women's game. In previous seasons, girls rugby was supported by only two clubs, Abercwmboi and Cardiff Quins. However, thanks to the hard work of some unsung heroes at club level, girls' teams are being developed at Pencoed Phoenix, Gilfach Goch and Gwernyfed.
Girls who play rugby at club level also have the opportunity to progress and achieve regional honours at either under 15 or under 18 levels. Those who are selected have the honour of representing the Blues against other Welsh regions, such as the Dragons and Gogledd Cymru from North Wales. The Blues girls have done very well, winning under 18's for the previous three seasons. The under 15's are also achieving. The great results give a positive support for the senior side in the future. There are many great examples in the senior side of girls who have progressed through the system. You may know a few girls from your schools, such as Cardiff Quins, Jo Jones and Carys Ballett, who have gone from club level to Blues under 15's and 18's, to the Blues senior squad.
At secondary school you may have played tag rugby with community coaches, and now the Blues region is trying to develop touch ball via Player Development Officers. The good thing about this is that touch is a great way to develop your game and handling skills for either new or established players. If you are interested in trying this out, have a word with your PE teacher and get them to contact us as we are always looking for new venues and new talent. You may have also seen that the Blues run skills days that are specifically for you to develop your skills in several areas of the game in an enjoyable environment. At the end of the skills day there is always a round robin match to see if your skills improve, and they usually do! We also have several clubs dotted around the region that play in the national leagues:
Cardiff Quins, Pontyclun, UWIC Championship: Tylorstown Division 1: Barry, Gwernyfed, Sea View and Welshpool
Teams like Abercwmboi also playing friendlies against Wales. So wherever you are, there is a club you can feed into, whether you are a senior or a junior player and the senior clubs provide players for the Blues Senior structure. At this level there is no difference in the laws of the game; the women are as competitive as the men. Although we are not as strong, we are as competitive and want to improve our rugby skills and win league and cup fixtures.
To help with your development as new or as a current player, there are now U13 and U15 development centres popping up throughout the region. There are;
Venue: Michael Sobell Sports Centre, Playing Fields
Day: Monday nights
Venue: Windsor fields, Pontyclun RFC
Day: Thursday nights
Venue: Reservoir Fields Merthyr Dyfan Road
Venue: The Diamond Ground Forest Farm Road
Day: Wednesday nights
All four centres will be in contact with Megan Snape, Regional Womens Liasion, and feed the senior teams. To help clubs get things going, the Blues have Development Officers all over the region and part of their job is to help your club or school develop girls rugby, either in a touch or tag tournament or help set up a girls team at your local club.
So don't see being too old for mini rugby as an end to your rugby career, see it as a pathway into girls and women's rugby, or play touch rugby at school if you want to try out this incredible and fast-growing sport.
If you are interested in playing women's or girls' rugby, please contact your local club or:
Blues Development Officer for Womens and Girls rugby