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
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
"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."