WEST LONDON VARSITY PREVIEW: St Mary's women's rugby looking for season booster
There's no denying that St Mary’s women’s rugby are going to be facing an uphill battle against Brunel at this year’s West London Varsity.
After a fairly successful 2015/2016 season, the squad had trouble finding their feet in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) South Eastern 1A division this year after losing several key players.
They are currently in danger of relegation after facing seven defeats in the league.
Brunel currently sit in fifth place of the South Eastern 2A division. This puts them one place above the relegation zone with only three wins this season.
However, St. Mary's coach Brian Holland remains optimistic about a positive Simmies’ result at Varsity.
Holland said: “I think it’s gonna be a big game- obviously a big challenge for the girls, but if we get the right team out we can actually do the business on them.”
(Credit: Carli Stehle)
Captain Yasmin Senussi has been looking forward to this game all season.
“I think it’s going to be great," Senussi said.
"I mean, we’ve got quite a lot of first years -they don’t even know what Varsity is- so it’s going to be a wake-up call for some people.
"It’s just going to be so heartfelt as well. As we got many girls leaving, it’ll be their last ever game.”
MA students Zoe Barber, Hailey Karroum, and Carli Stehle will be pulling on a St Mary’s shirt for the last time, alongside third years Alex Barker, Lucy Farrell and Jess Kieser.
(Credit: Carli Stehle)
So with so many first time players on the way out, who is the one to watch next season?
Senussi said, “I think Zara Dankou will be a star player, she’s very versatile and she can play all over the pitch.”
In a game of such magnitude some of the new girls may be nervous but Holland believes they will be raring to go.
Holland said: “The intensity’s gone up a little bit, attitude has changed, all of a sudden now the girls are really into the sport and I think we’re in the right shape of mind at the moment.”
St. Mary's rugby union women will face Brunel at 6pm on the Cemetary Pitch so make sure you head down to give them your full support!
If you can't make it, we'll be bringing Varsity to you with our live blog on the day! Check out the Sports Gazette for the latest on Varsity!