Cumbrian women's rugby side get ready for national final at Twickenham

Cumbria county women's rugby team are getting set to play at a national final at Twickenham.

The team take on Devon in the final and are hoping the match will raise the profile for more women and girls in Cumbria to take up the sport.

A win over Essex ensured that the side would be travelling to the home of English rugby to play the final.

Cumbria's Chrissy Hadfield, said: “To be able to have the privilege to put a Cumbrian top on and go down and represent our county at Twickenham is amazing, I can’t put it into words really, with just how exciting it is.

"The more than women progress the more that we can go out there and showcase that women’s sport is important.

The side have been preparing to take on Devon in the final. Credit: ITV Border

"We enjoy it just as much and we want to be supported and valued just as much."

As a third tier side it is hoped that a Twickenham victory could go favourably for securing a higher division status.

Coach Sam Meakin, couldn't be prouder of the players: “To see some of our players that are going to come down and watch us.

"It will be great to get the word out there on social media that there are women’s teams throughout Cumbria and it has just come on so much over the last few years it is fantastic."

The team receives funding from rugby's national body, but they say they need extra finances to fund new kits and their long journeys.

Head Coach, Ally Ratcliffe, said: “That set fee pretty much only covers the home games or an away trip on a bus and that is it.

"So if we are going to places like Essex that we were drawn against this year then it is the cost of accommodation and extra travel."

For Beth Adams, the opportunity of playing rugby for the side is a great opportunity.

She said: "There is not really that much opportunity when you live up north so it is really good to be part of this county team and be able to play games amongst ourselves.

Victory over Essex booked their place in the final. Credit: ITV Border

"It is really good to see it develop."

Going into the final the players and coaches are hoping Cumbrian success can inspire the next generation of players.

Siobhan Lamb, said: “With the women’s World Cup coming up next year it is really on everyone’s mind to push women’s rugby.

"There’s no better time for women and girls to join."

Leanne Grave added: “There is lots to offer with rugby, not only on the pitch but off of it as well, for all genders and ages. So it is great to see the women’s game thriving."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...