Edinburgh University’s women have capped an outstanding season by winning promotion to the upper echelons of British university rugby, BUCS Premier North.
The team, who have gone undefeated in all 15-a-side games this season, bounced straight back up to the premier division following their relegation last year and will compete against some of the best university sides competing throughout the UK.
Having finished league duties winning all eight of their games, Edinburgh went on to beat Nottingham University, who finished bottom of BUCS Premier North, 33-0, before putting Nottingham-Trent University to the sword 53-0 to secure elite league status.
The University of Edinburgh ladies’ head coach Claire Cruikshank, said: “The players have worked unbelievably hard this year and have reached, and surpassed, the targets we set down at the start of the season
“The team have developed exponentially and have challenged the coaches throughout the season, wanting to learn, wanting to develop and wanting to become the best player they possibly can be.
“We now have a squad we believe can challenge the best teams, whilst being under no illusions to the magnitude of this.”
The Edinburgh University side were also crowned as winners of the BUCS National Trophy, scoring a mammoth 146 points whilst only conceding 24 in the knockout stages of the competition. The capital side went down to the finals day at Surrey to defeat Cardiff Metropolitan 2XV 17-10 and claim the Cup.
It is not only the 15-a-side game that Edinburgh University’s ladies are excelling in, they are also showing their worth in the abbreviated game, finishing third in the BUCS Championship 7s in Bristol.
Cruikshank, continued: “The support from the university under the Team Performance Programme provides the girls dedicated strength and conditioning sessions and medical care which has been invaluable to their development.
“To receive the best possible support in truly world-class playing and training facilities is second to none and something for which we are very grateful.
“We hope the success of this season will mean that The University of Edinburgh is a real option for any female rugby player with aspirations to come to study and combine their sport.”
Women’s rugby was highlighted in Scottish Rugby’s policy initiatives paper as one of five key areas intended to support the Union’s long term goals of growing the game at all levels.
Nick Rennie, Scottish Rugby’s head of clubs and schools, said: “Congratulations to Edinburgh University’s ladies on their phenomenal season – to go undefeated in all 15-a-side games is an incredible feat.
“Within the core proposals, Scottish Rugby outlined the need for new initiatives to recruit more players into the women’s game, and inspirational performances from teams like Edinburgh University’s ladies should serve as no greater incentive to engage and achieve in rugby.
“Also proposed in the policy initiatives paper was the need to continue support for the women’s university liaison, as this is a platform in which many talents are discovered and nurtured, as we can see from the achievements of the Edinburgh University ladies.”