Source: Rugby Matters

National Academy performance impresses Scott Bemand

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England National Academy recorded two straight wins over the Canadian Maple Leafs last week, ending with a 22-19 victory at Esher RFC on Saturday in another close encounter between the two sides.

Two first half tries from Heather Kerr and Poppy Cleall, followed by a double from Abbie Scott after the break gave England their second win over the visitors, despite trailing at half-time in both fixtures.

Designed to provide an opportunity for players between the U20s programme and the EPS, as well as joining up the pathway between club rugby and the international game, England Lead XV coach Scott Bemand said of the series:

“It was really successful both in terms of that pathway, but also performance development and individuals having an opportunity to show what they’re about.

“The girls involved had different motivations; some were solidifying their competing for places ahead of the Six Nations, others making the step from club rugby into a National Academy environment and those who were in for accelerated development. Whatever their aspirational goals were, the squad impressed us.

“The next step is all about the Six Nations and preparations for that. We think we’re in a pretty good place; we’ve now got more experience and more caps coming through from the younger girls and the more experienced individuals are getting on top of the systems that we’re trying to play.

“I think the tournament next year is going to be an incredibly exciting opportunity and a chance for us to take our game to the next level”

England 37 Maple Leafs 29, Tuesday December 1

England 22 Maple Leafs 19, Saturday December 5