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Cardiff and Vale College Women’s Rugby Academy players chosen for inaugural U18s Women’s Six Nations

Cardiff and Vale College’s Women’s Rugby Academy has got off to flying start in its first year with four players selected to take part in the first ever U18s Women’s Six Nations Tournament in Scotland.

Gabby Healan, Katy Hudd, Rachel Thomas-Evans and Permit selection Grace Bellamy were selected for the squad for the week-long tournament with a training fixture against France, and full international honours versus Italy and Ireland. The Welsh team won all three fixtures.

“Games were streamed on YouTube and the atmosphere in the stadium for the games was electric, seeing our students singing the Welsh National Anthem for the first time was phenomenal – it was a proud moment as a squad and for the coach,” CAVC Rugby Hub Officer Gavin Gallagher said. 

“We’ve now gout our first Women Rugby internationals and I must say this is only the start of our journey. The girls are constantly working on themselves and developing. Gym sessions at 7am and skills sessions at 8am are paying off, and the momentum and determination of each member of the squad is fantastic and I’m very excited for the 2022-23 season.

“The recruitment and drive and women’s rugby within the region has come on leaps and bounds.”

One of the players, Gabby Healan, said: “Playing for the first ever Wales U18s Six Nations was the best experience but it wasn’t easy! The training and the lifestyle was a challenge at times, but it gave me a real insight into what my rugby career could look like.

“Going away to Scotland with all of my team-mates was a great way for all of us to become closer – we had such a laugh and I have definitely made friends for life. Hopefully I will get to do it again next year – it’s so exciting to see what my future could hold.”

CAVC Sports Academies provide the perfect platform for young, dedicated students who have an interest in performance and elite level rugby. The Academies places a strong emphasis on balancing sporting performance with educational achievement and CAVC is committed to supporting players with both. 

In its first year, the Women’s Rugby Academy at CAVC has seen 13 players involved in regional U18s teams, six players in the Weider National Squad, and two players will go on to represent Wales in the European Touch Championships.

“I cannot emphasise enough that for the first year the players’ achievements have been fantastic,” Gavin said.

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