Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Gill helps England Academy side to victory over Canada

England rugbyPLYMOUTH rugby star Courtney Gill helped the England National Academy side to a 37-29 victory over Canada Maple Leafs at Esher on Tuesday night.

Former Albion second-row Gill, who now plays for Worcester, started the match in Surrey.

England were trailing 29-20 but three tries in the final 12 minutes secured them victory over a tough Canada side.

Gill is pushing hard for a place in the senior women’s team, having come through the under-20 set-up. She was named in the England Elite Player Squad for 2015/15 and lead England XV coach Scott Bemand admitted last night’s match was an opportunity for players to put their hands up for future selection.

He said: “The purpose of the National Academy is to play credible fixtures with both aspects of performance and development in mind.

“The game provided a tough fixture against a strong Canada Maple Leafs squad that the girls had to find a way to win and in way that they were able to express what they were about as players. Last time we played a fixture like this in 2011 the squad contained a number of players who went on to win the 2014 World Cup.

“It will be exciting to see the next generation again on Saturday where we know we will face another strong test, giving players an excellent opportunity to put their hands up for future selection.”

England will play the Maple Leafs again at Esher on Saturday (2pm).

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