01:00PM, Friday 17 September 2021
Maidenhead RFC launch their new u13s/14s side girls side this Sunday (11am start), with Wasp Ladies' player, Maud Muir, set to coach weekly sessions down at Braywick Park. Director of women's and girls' rugby at the club, Stephen Jones, believes she'll become a real asset for Maids, paving the way for young players to move through into senior rugby.
'If you can see it, you can be it', is an often repeated mantra for women's sport, and Maids believe that by bringing in someone like Maud, who currently plays Premier 15s rugby and is on the fringes of England's Six Nations team at the age of just 20, they can show these young players it is possible for them to forge a career in the sport.
The club also has an exciting clutch of 15-17 year old players who Jones also believes will break into the newly formed Iron Maidens women's senior side in the coming years, and many of them have already been training with the squad.
Maids are being supported in their endeavour to make the sport more accessible to teenage girls by Get Berkshire Active, and the hope is for them to establish another team at u17s level once the 'Ice Maidens' u13s/14s side is successfully up and running.
“The team is being launched a week on Sunday,” said Jones.
“COVID has restricted what we’ve been able to do so far, but we’re also at the start of the season now so it’s a good time for us to start. We will initially start with the younger age group. To start two age groups at the same time is very difficult, but that will be the next move.
“At the moment we have six or seven 16-year-olds who are training with the Iron Maidens. Their standard is brilliant and they’re incredibly promising, so we can’t wait for them to be 17 so they can play for the Iron Maidens. We will look to start a u17s side once we get this younger age group started and we hope that at some point in the future you’ll be able to play for Maids whatever your age.”
The Iron Maidens are set for their first competitive contact match when they take on High Wycombe on September 26,
“We cannot wait for that match,” added Jones. “We’ve been short on front row forwards and have been trying to recruit some. That’s the final stage going into this first game. But we’ve also got a great combination of people who have played rugby before and are very skilful and those who are just learning. It’s going very well.”