History will be made when the inaugural Under-18 Women’s festival takes place at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh as the stars of the future take to the international stage.
The launch of the Six Nations age grade pathway through the introduction of the U18 Women’s Festival is a crucial step in strengthening the foundations for future generations.
It will provide an important platform for the rising stars of the women’s game, as well as key step towards further development driven competitions such as an Under-20 Women’s competition.
HOW IT WORKS
The U18 Women’s festival will take place over two game days, with the first being hosted at the DAM Health Stadium on April 9th – the same day at the Men’s festival in Marcoussis.
Game day one will see each team play two 35-minute matches: Scotland v Wales, England v Ireland, France v Ireland, Italy v Wales, England v France and Scotland v Italy.
Four days later on Wednesday, April 13th, the Women’s festival will come to a conclusion with three 70-minute matches (one per team): Ireland v Wales, Italy v Scotland and England v France.
WHAT THEY SAID
England Women U18 head coach James Cooper said: “We’re all really excited to be heading to Edinburgh for the inaugural U18 Women’s Six Nations festival.
“It’s another indication of where the women’s game is going and an important step in this group of players’ learning. We hope this experience will aid their transition into the U20s, Allianz Premier 15s and perhaps one day representing the Red Roses.
“The squad are prepared and this is testament to the hard work the players have done away from camps and in the centres of excellence throughout the season who do a brilliant job.”
Wales Women U18 head coach Liza Burgess said: “It’s been brilliant working with this group of girls for the last couple of months. The regions put a lot of hard work into their training and playing programmes after Christmas and since then the players have really applied themselves.
“We have seen an incredible progression. Improvement is clear across the board technically and in terms of the players’ game understanding.
“The cohesiveness of the group and their willingness to learn has really impressed me. They have taken every opportunity to progress, which is very rewarding.”
Katie Fitzhenry, IRFU Women’s performance pathway coach, said: “Over the past few weeks we have seen this group grow and meet each challenge the coaching group have set for them. They are a credit to their clubs and provincial coaches.
“The Festival will be another great development marker in their young playing careers as the format ensures that each performance is a chance to learn and get better. It is a proud moment to pull on a green jersey for the first time and I am sure it will just as special for this group.”
Evie Addy (Yorkshire), Daisy Aspinall (Loughborough Lightning), Reneeqa Bonner (Bristol Bears), Naomi Brennan (Gloucester Hartpury), Leah Brough (Worcester Warriors), Bridget Campbell (Yorkshire), Grace Clifford (Harlequins), Olivia Constable (Gloucester Hartpury), Steph Else (Yorkshire), Cerhys Gould (Gloucester Hartpury), Freya Greensmith (Yorkshire), Katie Johnson (Saracens), Kira Leat (Gloucester Hartpury), Molly Luthayi (Loughborough Lightning), Sophie McQueen (Gloucester-Hartpury), Josie Plant (Exeter Chiefs), Lilly Plowman (Exeter Chiefs), Anna Richardson (North East and Cumbria), Hannah Sams (Exeter Chiefs), Tori Sellors (Worcester Warriors), Katie Shillaker (Harlequins), Niamh Swailes (North East and Cumbria), Lucy Thorpe (North East and Cumbria), Evie Walker (Exeter Chiefs), Lucy Weaver (Loughborough Lightning), Daisy Womack (Exeter Chiefs)
Alex Stewart (Edinburgh Harlequins), Chloe Brown (Stirling County), Eilidh Fleming (Stirling County), Elsa Quigley (Stirling County), Freya Gracie (Dumfries Saints), Holland Bogan (Cartha Q.P), Karis Poppy Craig (Currie Chieftains), Kirsty Ritchie (Biggar), Maia MacDonald (Stirling County), Megan Hyland (Dundee), Molly Gray (Tynedale), Molly Poolman (Howe of Fife), Poppy Fletcher (Heriot’s), Samaanther Taganekurukuru (Howe of Fife), Brogan Henderson (Stirling County), Carla McDonald (Hillhead JordanHill), Ceitidh Ainsworth (Stirling County), Hannah Dunnett (Caithness), Hannah Speer (Watsonians), Hannah Walker (Stirling County), Lucy MacRae (Stirling County), Emma Campbell (Bishop Burton Academy), Niamh Robertson-Jack (Stirling County), Nicole Flynn (Stirling County), Sky Phimister (Livingston), Sophie Langford (Heriot’s)
Lowri Pritchard (Scarlets), Chelsea Chesters (Scarlets), Dali Hopkins (Ospreys), Maisie Davies (Scarlets), Molly Wakely (Dragons), Georgia Morgan (Cardiff), Milly Summer Webb-Greenslade (Scarlets), Fern Cumine (Cardiff), Erin Jones (RGC), Catrin Stewart (RGC), Katy Hudd (Dragons), Lucy Isaac (Dragons), Jess Rogers (Ospreys), Gwennan Hopkins (Cardiff), Sian Jones (RGC)
Molly Reardon (Cardiff), Rachel Thomas-Evans (Cardiff), Mya Dixon (Cardiff), Jenna De Vera (Scarlets), Gabby Healan (Cardiff), Molly Powell (Dragons), Lowri Elias (Scarlets), Grace Bellamy (Cardiff), Nel Metcalfe (RGC), Mollie Wilkinson (Exiles), Carys Hughes (Scarlets)
Clara Barrett (Ballina/Connacht), Ellen Boylan (Carrick-on-Shannon/Connacht), Molly Boote (Connemara/Connacht), Katie Corrigan (Tullow/Leinster), Alanna Fitzpatrick (Portarlington/Leinster), Kate Flannery (Fethard/Munster), Jade Gaffney (Navan/Leinster), Abby Moyles (Navan/Leinster), Éabha Nic Dhonnacha (Galway Corinthians/Connacht), Robyn O’Connor (Wexford Wanderers/Leinster), Rebecca Rodgers (Ballina-Killaloe/Munster), Eva Sterritt (Greystones/Leinster), Sophie Barrett (Enniskillen/Ulster), Jorja Battishill (Malone/Ulster), Beth Buttimer (Fethard/Munster), Maebh Clenaghan (Letterkenny/Ulster), Isobel Clerk (Mullingar/Leinster), Sarah Delaney (Cill Dara/Leinster), Koren Dunne (Portlaoise/Leinster), Amy O’Mahony (Greystones/Leinster), Sarah McCormick (Ballina RFC/Connacht), Sadhbh McGrath (City of Derry/Ulster), Jane Neill (Arklow/Leinster), Karly Tierney (Tuam/Oughterard/Connacht), Orla Wafer (Enniscorthy RFC/Leinster), Hannah Wilson (Cill Dara/Leinster)
Kelly Arbey (Castres Olympique), Clarisse Augusto (CA Brive Corrèze L), Thaïs Bailly (Stade Rochelais), Pauline Barrat (Stade Rochelais), Amalia Bazola (Stade Toulousain), Mailys Borak (RC Toulon), Eva Brian (Blagnac), Oyanna Capon (AS Bayonne), Émeline Coste Lafon (CA Brive Corrèze L), Lucy Darmau (Stade Bordelais), Lili Dezou (Stade Toulousain), Laiss Esadi (Stade Bordelais), Hubert-Lina Felix (AC Bobigny 93), Victoire Foulon (Provence Rugby), Agathe Fournie (USA Limoges/APER Brive), Maya Grat (SU Agen), Anaïs Guillevic (Stade Rochelais), Cléo Hagel (Lyon OU), Molly Jean (RC Chilly Massy), Zoé Jean (Stade Rennais), Mawa Kane (Pantin/AC Bobigny 93), Lola Koch (AS Bayonne), Mathilde Lavergne (ASM Romagnat), Marilou Le Calvez (Stade Rennais), Patrice Grace Libali (Stade Rennais), Anna Macipe (Montpellier HR), Maewenn Magnabal (Stade Bordelais), Enoe Neri (FC Grenoble Amazone), Aminata Niakate (CD Val de Marne), Mariam Niakate (CD Val de Marne), Lou Roboam (Stade Toulousain), Suliana Sivi (Stade Rennais), Salimata Tandiang (SCUF/AC Bobigny 93), Florine Thiron (FC Grenoble Amazone), Violette Tournay (FC Grenoble Amazone), Aby Traore (AC Bobigny 93), Léa Trollier (Lyon OU), Lina Tuy (CA Brive Corrèze L), Chloé Vauclin (Stade Rennais), Kiara Zago (SU Agen), Marion Zdzioblo (CA Brive Corrèze L)
Martina Busana (Rugby Feltre), Erika Campigotto (Rugby Feltre), Anna Carnevali (Highlanders Formigine Rugby), Sofia Catellani (Rugby Colorno), Francesca Celli (Rugby Feltre), Nadia Cinque (Amatori Napoli Rugby), Angelica Cittadini (Unione Rugby Capitolina), Sveva Corsini (Rugby Orio), Emma Da Lio (Valsugana Rugby Padova), Alessia Della Sala (Rebels Rugby Vi.Est), Diana Di Franco (Amat.R.Torre Del Greco), Gaia Dosi (Rugby Colorno), Silvia Fent Rugby Feltre), Alice Fortuna (Rebels Rugby Vi.Est), Rubina Grassi (Rugby Parabiago), Susanna Logoteta (Rugby Orio), Viola Maffia (Cus Milano Rugby), Elena Paladini (Mascalzoni Del Canale Rugby), Sofia Palladino (Rugby Feltre), Laura Pinton (Valsugana Rugby Padova), Yasmine Ramli (Iniziative Villorba Rugby), Matilde Romersa (Rugby Colorno), Laura Valentina Timpu (Rugby Frascati Union), Dorotea Luigia Tufano (Rugby Orio), Alice Visman (Valsugana Rugby Padova), Vittoria Zanette (Iniziative Villorba Rugby)
Saturday, 9 April (35-minute games)
Scotland v Wales (kick-off 1.30pm)
England v Ireland (kick-off 1.30pm)
Wales v Italy (kick-off 2.30pm)
France v Ireland (kick-off 2.30pm)
Scotland v Italy (kick-off 3:30pm)
England v France (kick-off 3.30pm)
Wednesday 13 April (70-minute games) – All streamed live on the Six Nations Under-20s YouTube
Ireland v Wales (kick-off 12pm)
Scotland v Italy (kick off 2.20pm)
England v France (kick-off 5pm)