A HOST of Plymouth-based rugby players will feature for Devon when they open their Gill Burns Women’s County Championship campaign on Sunday against Gloucestershire at Cleve (3pm).
Seven Plymouth Albion players will start – Megan Higgins (pictured top), Caitlin Short, Lilly Goddard, Donna Downes, Issy Jackson, Tilly Higgie and Heli Radcliffe – while Plymstock Albion Oaks will be represented by winger Tunrayo Osutokun in the squad and Plymouth University by Matilda Ferguson.
Prop Downes will captain the team, while centre Higgins, who scored four tries on her last appearance for Devon against the England Deaf side, is vice-captain.
Devon Ladies were only re-formed last season but enjoyed a highly-successful campaign winning the South West regional plate competition with an unbeaten record.
This year they have moved up a level and have entered the main County Championship, where they will face away trips to Gloucestershire and Berkshire and a home game against Surrey in Pool Four of the competition.
Plymstock Albion Oaks player-coach Richard West is Devon’s backs coach.
He said: “We have a happy, settled squad who are aware of the big step up and challenge we have ahead.”
Devon’s second match will be on May 7 at home to Surrey at Withycombe, while they will end their group campaign at Berkshire on May 14.
Devon Ladies team to face Gloucestershire at Cleve RFC
15 Lauren Mueller (Topsham)
14 Tunrayo Osutokun (Plymstock Albion Oaks)
13 Megan Higgins (Plymouth Albion)
12 Caitlin Short (Plymouth Albion)
11 Lilly Goddard (Plymouth Albion)
10 Charlotte Green (Cullompton)
9 Charley Wright (Cullompton)
1 Donna Downes (capt, Plymouth Albion)
2 Claire Knighton (Cullompton)
3 Issy Jackson (Plymouth Albion)
4 Tilly Higgie (Plymouth Albion)
5 Amy Alford (Cullompton)
6 Gemma Parish (Cullompton)
7 Heli Radcliffe (Plymouth Albion)
8 Liz Richards (Cullompton)
16 India Chambers (Withycombe)
17 Matilda Ferguson (Plymouth University)
18 Corinne Walsh (Topsham)
19 Natasha Currie (Topsham)
20 Dawn Latham-Mahoney (Topsham)
21 Nikita Frere (Exeter University)
22 Jennie Moss (Paignton)
Sophie Eaden (Topsham)