DEVONPORT Services Ladies have started building for the 2020-21 season by adding three new back-row forwards to their squad.
Services finished an impressive second in National Challenge Two South West (West) last season in only their second year in league rugby. They were only beaten by Cornish side Penryn.
The Rectory-based club are hoping to be even stronger this coming campaign and have been boosted by signing former Plymouth Albion players Megan Musgrave and Natalia Villabrille and Devon under-18 player Chloe Leach.
Musgrave came through Services’ under-15 and under-18 ranks before going on to play for Plymouth Albion, Portsmouth Valkyries and the Royal Navy.
“I decided to sign with the team this year due to Services’ progression last season and their inclusive team ethos,” said Musgrave.
Villabrille moves to Services from Plymstock Albion Oaks. She has also played for Plymouth Albion, Torpoint, Xixon Shore 7s and Spanish side Gijon.
She said: “I can see that Services are doing really well and it looks like this team in a year or so will be so strong and be able to compete with any team in the South West.
“It is going to be a really great team and I couldn’t miss being a part of something like that.”
Leach has come through Services’ junior ranks. She had interest from higher league clubs but, after months of uncertainty, has decided to stick with the club she has been at since 15. She has also taken up the role of social media and recruitment officer at the club.
She said: “I am super excited to get started with this fantastic team.
“I have had an incredible time during youth rugby (at the club). I got the encouragement and positivity when I really needed it, through the bad times with injury – there were plenty of them – and the best times during my comebacks.
“I can’t wait to carry on learning under the coaching team with the ladies and next to the incredible players at Services.”
Leach has helped the club become one of the few women’s clubs in the South West to have a second team.
Services currently have more than 40 players of all ages on their senior women’s books and they hope to recruit more to keep progressing. They have started training in line with RFU covid-19 guidance. Anyone interested in playing or getting involved in the coaching/management team should email firstname.lastname@example.org.