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Women’s Rugby Prepared for (Yet Another) Victory

Photo by Amanda Summons, courtesy of KCLSU

Staff writer Saoirse Byrne charts the impressive rise of the women’s rugby team (KCLWRFC) over the past few years.

The growth of KCL Women’s Rugby over the past three years has been an impressive to watch. “It’s incredible to think that two years ago the team had three people, and now we’ve got over 30 that come regularly”, says captain Maddie Bonner – and the team hasn’t just developed in numbers. KCLWRFC are now the highest performing rugby team at King’s, competing in the top regional BUCS league as well as being reigning Varsity, Macadam, and London League (LUSL) champions. 

Their presence at King’s College London (KCL) can be felt on and off the pitch, whether it’s engaging in fundraising efforts such as their Black Women in Sport panel last October, or playing an active role in KCL social life at sports nights, quiz nights, and pretty much any other night of the week. This stacked social calendar has been hard-earned this season, which has been the most successful one in years.

KCL are once again sitting at the top of the LUSL, and in the British Universities & College Sport (BUCS) tournament they have managed to win or draw against every team except one. They remain undefeated at their home pitch in Berrylands, New Malden, where they train up to three times a week.

The women’s rugby Varsity game is always a nailbiter. KCL have taken home the trophy every year bar one since 2016 – but this impressive winning streak doesn’t quite demonstrate the levels of drama involved in recent years. “Although we’ve won for the past two years, it’s come down to the last play both times”, says Maddie. She’s hoping for a slightly less stressful ending this year though – “I don’t think my heart can take another last-minute win”.

The most recent league match against UCL ended in a decisive 51-0 King’s victory, but they have no plans to get complacent. “There’s always a surprise with UCL. Each year when we’ve played them in league games, we’ve had a strong win, but then when it comes to Varsity it’s just a completely different level” – Maddie will definitely be encouraging her team to expect the unexpected. Whether this year’s Varsity will end in a confident victory or another nailbiter, it is sure to be one of the most entertaining fixtures of this year’s Varsity series.

You can catch the KCLWRFC Varsity at 17:00 on Monday 18 March at Richmond RFC. 

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