Jenny Meagher, Secretary of the Edinburgh University Ladies Rugby Football Club, spoke to Support through Sport UK about both the club and women’s rugby in general …
Hi Jenny. So how did you get into rugby and why is it such a great game to play?
I only started playing rugby when I first came to University. Originally it started out as a bit of a joke between myself and my rugby playing Dad and brothers - but I'm now in my third year and can safely say that I couldn't imagine a Sunday without a rugby game! It's such a great game because, as well as developing your fitness, it really gets the adrenaline going. There's no better feeling than coming off the pitch knowing you gave 100% and your team came away with a win.
Can anyone join the Edinburgh University Ladies Rugby Football Club? So both experienced players and people who have never played before?
We're open to all Edinburgh University students, from Freshers to Post-grads, and it really doesn't matter if you've never even picked up a rugby ball in your life. We have two teams that play in separate leagues, so there's the opportunity to play solely on a Sunday - but if you're a player looking for a bit more of a challenge we also play in the BUCS league on a Wednesday against some of the top teams in the country.
Is the club just for students or can non-students also turn up and train with you?
Primarily we're a student based club as you have to be registered with the University of Edinburgh to be able to play for us on a Wednesday. We have a few girls coming down for the new season from Napier University as they don't have a team - but I wouldn't turn away anyone who wanted to come down for a run around and some fun at one of our training sessions!
Rugby has a work hard, play hard reputation. Is this true of your club – do you have lots of exciting socials?
I'm sure the girls would definitely agree with that statement! This year we actually went on tour to Lloret de Mar and played two Spanish teams. It made us really close as a team but we also made some really good links with the teams there and we're awaiting their visits to Edinburgh this season. During the season in Edinburgh, it's not unusual to see us out at least once a week - be it dancing and drinking or even paintballing! I would definitely say that through socials and games I've made some of my closest friends by becoming part of the rugby team - you can't beat it.
How inspiring is it for your players to follow the Women's RBS Six Nations and other such tournaments?
The success of women's rugby as a whole is a great source of motivation for the whole team. The accomplishments of the England National Team really help to promote the sport and it is becoming much more common on the national stage. Here in Scotland it is currently even being taught to girls in primary schools. We have players on our team that are actually part of the Scotland National Squad. Knowing that you're part of rugby at such an exciting time is definitely an inspiration and helps to spur us on.
In one sentence, why would you encourage girls to try out rugby?
It's an up and coming exciting sport and we can definitely give the boys a run for their money!
Thanks, Jenny; good luck for the season!
Club: Edinburgh University Ladies Rugby Club
Contact: Jenny Meagher; firstname.lastname@example.org
Brief Description: Established in 1989, the Edinburgh University Ladies Rugby Club caters for those looking for competitive rugby, keeping fit and playing just for fun. We are the only University in Scotland to be able to field two full women's teams for rugby. We're immensely proud of the fact that this means we cater for all levels, allowing anyone wanting to try a new sport a position on our team. We are always interested in bringing in people who have never played before and teaching them the game. This season we are planning to build on our past successes in the BUCS league and continue going from strength to strength.