Wimbledon ‘Warrior Camp’ enjoys phenomenal success as more women pick up a rugby ball

Wimbledon RFC ladies player Meg Gardiner said the club was delighted at the impressive turnout they received at last week’s Pitch Up and Play event.

Gardiner, who is also the ladies’ team club secretary, said the club made it a more inclusive training session than usual at its Beverley Meads base on Barham Road last Wednesday.

The event was organised by the RFU as part of its Release Your Inner Warrior campaign.

The Inner Warrior drive, launched in January, is challenging women to break out of their comfort zone by playing the sport, and comes on the back of the organisation achieving its objective of getting 25,000 women in England playing contact rugby.

“Instead of doing a different session, we opened up the session to do something a bit different usual, we didn’t do any lineout practice or anything too tactical,” Gardiner said.

“It was a great session, great fun. It was absolutely freezing cold, but we were pleased with the turnout.”

Now in its 27th season, the women’s club is one of the most established and long-running in the country.

The current ladies team competes in the Championship South West 2 league, level three in the women’s game.

Gardiner said the men’s director of rugby Mark Percival led the session, which also attracted a significant number of junior girls, as well as women who had previously retired from playing.

The club has boasted girls’ rugby for two seasons, with representation at under-13, under-15 and under-18 level.

“They don’t really get to play it in school like the boys do, and don’t have as much exposure to it,” Gardiner added.

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