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University rugby players get England call up

By University of Exeter Sport  |  Posted: May 31, 2013

Amber Reed has been a regular starter for England this year. Image courtesy of rugbymatters.net

Amber Reed has been a regular starter for England this year. Image courtesy of rugbymatters.net

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Women's rugby at the

University of Exeter has received another boost following the selection of

players Amber Reed and Zoe Saynor for England's international summer tour


The pair both formed an

integral part of the University of Exeter's Women's Rugby Team which won the

British Universities and Colleges Sport Championship, following a nail-biting

final at Twickenham, in March.

However, despite competing

together for the University first team the girls will not be playing side by

side, or even in the same country as they make their mark for England in

different events, on different continents.

England regular, Amber Reed (3rd

year, Exercise and Sports Sciences) will travel to New Zealand in July for a

three match test series against reigning world champions the New Zealand Black

Ferns. The third year centre has a strong record against the Ferns, forming

part of the squad who defeated them 3:0 in the autumn internationals last year.

The match will offer crucial

preparation for the England team, who are already preparing for the World Cup

in 2014. Amber, who will travel down-under for the first time with the side is

relishing the challenge. She said: "It is a massive honour to be called up for

the England squad to tour New Zealand. It is a new experience for me,

travelling to New Zealand, but an opportunity that I hope to make the most of

following on from the Six Nations campaign.

"After our successful autumn

international series it will be good to challenge the reigning world champions

on their home soil. It is going to be a tough tour playing against world class

opposition but one I feel we can make the most of as part of a squad looking

forward to 2014."

Following this, Zoe Saynor (3rd

year PhD, Exercise testing and training for paediatric Cystic Fibrosis

Patients) will travel to Denver, Colorado to make her international debut at

the Nations Cup, as part of the championship defending squad against Canada,

USA and South Africa.

Despite only attending one

England training session prior to selection, the second row has constantly

demonstrated her capability this season as part of the RFU's incredibly

successful divisional programme and for the Bristol Premiership team.

Joining eight other debutants

in a young side that will undoubtedly be eager to impress, Zoe commented: "I

was initially very shocked and my progress through the system has been quite

fast. However, my ultimate sporting goal has always been to strive to play

international rugby.

"It is a great honour to have

been chosen as a member of the squad for the Nations Cup tour and I relish the

opportunity to show my potential in the most competitive and challenging of


University captain Amber expressed her joy in seeing a team mate

join the international ranks. She commented: "I am delighted for Zoe as I have

seen first-hand her commitment and willingness to learn over the previous few

years. I hope that she enjoys the experience and will treasure the memories as

opportunities like this don't come round often."

Rugby is one of the

University of Exeter's focus sports receiving dedicated training and support

from the University's High Performance Unit, including women's coach and former

England Captain Jo Yapp.

Assistant Director of Sport

(Performance and Competitions) Nick Beasant said: "We are extremely proud of

our women's rugby programme at the University of Exeter. It has been a really

successful season for the girls, currently ranked second in BUCS and with a

number of regional and these international call ups showing the pedigree of our


"We have an exceptional coach

in Jo and she continues to maximise our player development, making Exeter

players the logical choice for international honours. We wish them the best of

luck, particularly Amber who is graduating from Exeter this summer. We will be

following their progress closely throughout their campaigns."

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