Warriors Women quintet in Tri-Nations Cup success

Warriors Women quintet Cara Clarke, Carys Cox, Akina Gondwe. Lauren Leatherland and Megan Varley helped England Under-20s win the Tri-Nations Cup with a 24-15 victory over Canada at Loughborough University.

The win followed a 62-0 victory over USA in the tournament and came after Canada had turned a seven points half-time deficit into a 15-7 lead in the second half.

Tries from Ebony Jefferies, Holly Cunningham and Jessica Thomas took England to victory.

Full-back Cox, wing Clarke and loosehead prop Gondwe all started for England with prop Leatherland and centre Varley – a late call-up – replacements.

“Overall the tournament has been brilliant for the players’ development,” said England Under-20s Head Coach Jo Yapp.

“Being in this environment for over two weeks and being able to play two games and back up those two games is a really important part of their learning – you can see that in the way the girls have come together.

“In terms of this particular game, we knew Canada was going to be a tough encounter and that they are a strong and physical side. It was everything we expected it to be.

“We didn’t make it easy for ourselves at times and made quite a lot of mistakes but what we’re really proud of is the mental resilience that the team had.

“Even when we went down on the scoresheet, to come back and show belief we could turn it around is something we’re very happy with.”