We caught up with Belfast Harlequins RFC Women on Tuesday night.
Quins recently celebrated their 13th Birthday and over that time they have gone from a smattering of 6/7 players to a thriving club looking to field two teams in the 21-22 season.
The club were promoted to the Ulster Premiership, after a successful run in the Championship in the 19/20 season, and they are looking forward to testing themselves against established Premiership teams once play resumes.
Head Coach Charlie Blackburn feels his players can throw a few spanners in the works.
The players are under no illusion that the coming season will be a real test, but they’ve been working hard and will continue to recover their form post covid break. I think it’ll be a really interesting season. We’ve got some amazing new talent coming through to compliment the existing player structure and offer themselves up to add a new dynamic to the team. We’re all excited just to get stuck in as soon as we’re allowed!
But it’s not just the Premiership side that Quins will be focusing on as they return to rugby. With a view to player development and options for players to play performance oriented or social rugby, Quins are working towards a 2nd XV squad to give newer players much needed game time under the guidance of veteran players seeing out their careers at a more relaxed pace.
This approach places Quins, who previously had a 2nd XV and a successful U18s back in 2012, firmly on the road to providing a strong pathway for their players.
Coach Stephen Montgomery believes that the future of the Premier side depends on the focused development of new players and by building their confidence at a pace that suits them.
You can’t put a new player straight into the pressured situations of a Premiership game. Rugby has to be learned through experience with a holistic approach to developing the players fitness, rugby IQ and sports psychology. Having a 2nd XV will help us focus on developing players without the undue worry of making mistakes, allowing them to just enjoy playing and having fun as they develop.
It’s exciting times for Harlequins and they’re looking to recruit new players for both squads, regardless of previous experience and fitness level. They’re also looking for volunteers to help throughout the club.
You can scroll through the web story below to find out more.
Currently with covid guidelines in place, Quins women are training Tuesday 6.15-7.30 and Thursday 7.30-8.45. Just contact any of the social media outlets and a coach will be in touch to invite you to a session!
Our photographer Bob Given captured some images of the players at training.
CLICK HERE FoR our coverage of Belfast Harlequins RFC
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