15 minutes with Ladies Rugby
Ahead of the Scottish Varsity Matches, we got to know a few players from the Ladies Rugby Club
In the run up to the Royal Bank of Scotland Scottish Varsity Matches, which will be held on Saturday 21 September at BT Murrayfield, we got to know a few of our regular players from Edinburgh University Ladies Rugby Football Club (EULRFC).
Six of our players were kind enough to answer a few questions about their experiences in rugby, EULRFC and of course, Varsity. Thanks to Alison Glass, Meryl Smith, Sarah Denholm, Panashe Muzambe, Rachel Law, and Elis Martin for sharing their highlights with us.
How did you get into rugby and how old were you?
Meryl - I started playing when I was about 6 years old - there was a rugby club at our school that both my brothers played for, so it didn't take long for me to go and join in too. I loved it straight away and haven't looked back since.
Panashe - I started playing during my undergrad at Napier University end of 2015 at the age of 20.
Alison - EULRFC has been a major part of my time at University. The feeling of walking out on the pitch with some of your best friends is like no other. This year will be particularly special after missing out last year due to injury. It is honestly one of the best days of the year!
What does playing with EULRFC, and Varsity in particular, mean to you?
Rachel - Varsity is a fantastic opportunity to showcase EULRFC. With record crowds it gives us a platform to show what women’s student rugby is really like. It’s very special running out onto Murrayfield and the atmosphere is amazing.
Sarah - I’ve watched Varsity for the last 3 years and it has always been such a great event and opportunity to showcase women’s rugby. I’m really excited to play with EULRFC because I have played with a large number of the team before but never all together and I’m excited to see the various skill sets gel together ahead of an exciting season.
Meryl - EULRFC has such a great reputation, with amazing coaching and facilities, and their incredible alumni is a testament to that. I'm just excited to be a part of something special, keep on learning and meet some great people along the way. Varsity is a great way to showcase where we are as a team, so hopefully it'll be a good game and we can start the season on a high.
Have you ever experienced obstacles which have prevented/could have prevented you from playing?
Alison - It’s fair to say I’ve had a fair few injuries over the past couple of years! However, this has enabled me to do a spot of coaching - something I’ve really enjoyed!
Sarah - I think personally I’m in women’s rugby at a really good time. It’s just beginning to grow in terms of teams and publicity and I think the lure of what the future holds has left me fortunate enough to always have supportive coaches and teammates
Elis - Yeah a couple! I actually tore my Meniscus and MCL this summer in May and I'm recovering now.
For our new students, what are you most looking forward to when joining the club this year?
Meryl - I'm really excited to get started with the team, and with the players and support we have I'm confident we can do really well. The new league this year will definitely be challenging, but it'll be good to play against a consistently high standard of teams and really test ourselves.
Sarah - I personally am looking forward to seeing how well the team can play. Individually ‘on paper’ EULRFC will have some of the most talented up and coming players but to get everyone working as one is both a challenge and an exciting thing to me.
Panashe - I’m looking forward to playing with a different group of players also playing against different teams. Being in a new environment will provide a great opportunity to learn and develop so I’m looking forward to the new chapter.
And for the returners, what’s your best memory of playing with the club?
Alison - Greatest memory has got to be my two Varsity matches - the atmosphere was absolutely electric!
Elis - My best memory is probably winning 50/50 points in the league. We were in Durham dressing room singing walking on the waves in a big circle and it was just amazing. This year looking forward to the new league, new challenges are gonna be there because it’s all really tough teams.
Rachel - Greatest memory was winning the league with 50 points 10/10 wins and a bonus point in each game. I am looking forward to this season as we have lots of fresh talent joining and should build something amazing.
What are your goals for the club or individually this year?
Alison - Taking on the role as President my goal for this year is to ensure EULRFC remains an open and inclusive club, which provides a safe place for students to make new friends and just be themselves.
Panashe - For me being a part of the Scotland team is still new but some of the experiences I hope to bring to the University squad are the speed and intensity of play. Individually, I hope to bring a positive energy.
Elis - Goals for this year include lots of things really, I want to be a better leader, I want to do well in this league, I want to be able to start most games and play well. Being a good role model I guess and coach more. For the club I really want us to develop, I want to be able to pull-up these girls to a high level of rugby and make it sustainable for them.
Rachel - Individually I want to help the club grow the game, keep encouraging more and more girls to come down and experience rugby. I’d love to get my refereeing qualifications too and represent the club reffing too. I also think we will have quite a young team so being a good role model and leading by example.
The team take on St Andrew's University Women's Rugby Club's 1XV and hope to seal another victory! For tickets and match information see the Varsity Match website: