Investment in Female Rugby continues as the England Rugby Developing Player Pathway opens up to Devon’s Girls

A new, nationwide England Rugby Developing Player Programme has been launched for U16s girls, enabling more girls than ever to have access to pathway training and playing opportunities while playing for clubs and schools.

The programme will complement existing club and school rugby and support the rapid growth of the women’s and girls’ games. Representative rugby for girls and boys is typically a short training period of just 3-6 training sessions and is very centred around whole squad development and performance. The DPP however, takes place over the whole season and includes 10-12 training sessions plus online theory. It has individual player development at its core, rather than the formation of a selected squad. Positional, athletic and core rugby skills make up the programme’s foundation, providing a platform of success for all individuals, no matter their eventual playing position or context.

Like the Boys DPP programme, which has been running in Devon for nearly 10 years, the DPP is player-centred, with development driven and competition supported with the wants and needs of young players at its core. The objectives of the programme are to identify talented, mentally capable and physically motivated players, under the age of 16 years and provide them with an appropriate platform to develop as potential elite rugby players of the future.

Devon RFU and Exeter Chiefs have collaborated on the implementation of the DPP. The two organisations will work closely together to facilitate the effective delivery of coaching, online resources and playing opportunities throughout the season. Exeter Chief’s internationals, Kate Zackery and Gabby Cantorna will be leading the coaching team under the management of the County lead for Girls, Sian Brooks. With an all-female team at the helm, Devon really is progressing to a world where both Men and Women share the same opportunities in Rugby.

Devon rugby has a strong reputation for building the girls’ game, with last year’s U15s CB Representative Squad doing exceptionally well against the other South West Counties. Exeter Chiefs, having won this year’s Allianz Cup and finishing runners-up in the Premier 15s league, have also proven to be a force to be reckoned with at the elite level. Together, we expect the programme to be a huge asset to Devon Girls Rugby.

Unlike the Boys programme, which is mostly run by Exeter Chiefs and links in with Cornwall, the Girls programme is managed entirely by Devon RFU. Cornwall RFU will be running their own, similar programme with overall funding from England Rugby. This investment has been delivered in support of the development of female rugby across the Country.


January 29th: Topsham RFC 2 pm, Internal Fixture

February 19th: 4 Squad festival with Cornwall, Away

March 12th: Exeter Saracens, South West Festival Vs. Somerset, Cornwall and Dorset/Wiltshire

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