Warriors Women have announced five quality signings ahead of the 2019/20 Tyrrells Premier 15s season.
Ireland international hooker Sarah Mimnagh has been recruited from league rivals Richmond, Wales lock Gwen Crabb from Ospreys, Wales Sevens wing Caitlin Lewis from Scarlets, England Under-20 centre Jade Shekells from Gloucester-Hartpury and back-row forward Bryony Narbeth from Cheltenham Tigers.
But Warriors will be saying farewell to their captain and England international hooker Lark Davies who has decided to leave the club.
Mimnagh, who has also been represented the Army, was born in Worcester and began her rugby career at Sixways and was part of Worcester’s Women’s Premiership-winning side in 2013.
Her work commitments as a firefighter have brought Mimnagh back to the area and her impending arrival has been welcomed by Warriors Women Director of Rugby Roy Davies.
“It’s great to bring a player of Sarah’s quality back to the club, and I’m looking forward to working with her. As well as her obvious on-field talent, she will add lots off-field as well with her experience and leadership,” Davies said.
Crabb, who has six Wales caps as well as being a current sevens international, joins her compatriots Jasmine Joyce, Alex Callender, Alisha Butchers, Sioned Harries, Kenzie Tutton and Millie Williams at Sixways.
“In my conversations with Gwen I have been really impressed with her maturity and drive to play in the Premier15s competition,” Davies said.
“Physically, she is a commanding presence but having watched her in the recent Grand Prix 7s its clear she also an excellent ball player who will fit well into how we are trying to play.”
Shekells, who previously played under Davies for Bristol, hails from Droitwich and came through the junior section at Worcester RFC.
“Jade is a player I know well, having worked with her at Bristol and through some of her junior age group rugby. She has the potential to be an outstanding player at Tyrrells Premier 15s level and like many, just needs the opportunities to allow that potential to develop,” Davies said.
Lewis, who was part of Wales’ squad for last season’s Women’s Six Nations, plays her club rugby for Penybanc and Narbeth has been on Davies’ radar for some time.
“Caitlin is a young player with the physical attributes to be a real threat, as demonstrated by her international selection. I’m sure she will thrive in our environment and I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to work with her,” he said.
“I’ve been aware of Bryony for a number of seasons, having consistently been one of the outstanding players in the Championship. I’m pleased that she has taken the decision to join us, and equally pleased that Cheltenham Tigers have been so supportive in that process. ”
Davies is disappointed to be losing Davies but proud of the role Warriors have played in developing her into an international hooker.
“It’s always disappointing to see a player leave but I can’t fault Lark’s efforts in the time that I have been here. She has been excellent for us and I wish her well,” Davies said.
“It’s been great to see her grow into a fully-fledged international player and I’m extremely proud of the role the club has played in that development. It’s been a massive endorsement of the quality of our programme at Worcester Warriors Women.”