It’s great to be back says ladies’ captain of West Norfolk

Back row, from left: Georgie Lingham, Lucie Gedge, Lyndsey Williams, Jessica Walker, Sarah Firth, Ne

Back row, from left: Georgie Lingham, Lucie Gedge, Lyndsey Williams, Jessica Walker, Sarah Firth, Nerea Fernandez Rodriguez, Charlotte Wales, Sophie Lingham. Front row, from left: Leah Watson, Jada Moats, Amber Wadlow, Rachel Wade (captain), Vicky Murphy, Laura Howlett. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

The skipper of reformed West Norfolk ladies is urging more women to embrace the feel-good factor at Gatehouse Lane.

Morale at the club – already high after an excellent few seasons for the men's and junior sides – has reached new levels with females embracing the chance to wear West's colours again. Their first match for more than seven years produced a memorable 96-0 triumph – but it's all about more than just results for Rachel Wade.

West's captain said: 'I am thrilled to have the opportunity to play rugby on my doorstep with other like-minded individuals.

'Since the team has reformed we have had people join us who have never picked up a rugby ball before and they are thriving, the team spirit is sky high and we have a superb coaching team to support new and experienced players alike.

'Older players have dusted off their boots and come back to the team and the club, which is great all round. We have had lots of mums of the youth section coming to training, and we would welcome all new players either for fun, fitness and to play competitively. The support from the club and committee has been instrumental in providing great facilities for the women's team and the team are grateful for this.

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'We also welcome youth girls, filling a void that had previously been in the club. Before we would lose girls playing the game as we could not provide anything for them, now we welcome those from the age of 13 (from when they finish mini rugby) and we hope to provide solid pathways for the girls to develop their rugby careers.'

Wade used to play for West Norfolk Donkeys before they folded and had always hoped a side would rise from the ashes. With the help of coach Teresa Ford-Dunn, who works alongside Neil Langley, they realised their dream when the picked up a handful of players from Fakenham Foxes' demise.

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West head to Thetford for the return fixture on Sunday having run riot, despite only being able to field 13 players due to injuries and unavailability, in North Wootton. Georgie Lingham scored five tries.

The side's second coming will step up a notch from April 29 to May 1 when they host a '10's tournament' – set to attract more than 120 players.

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