Warriors Women’s retention drive continues into June with former England Under-20 full-back Carys Cox and club stalwart Lisa Campbell committing to the club ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
Cox, 21, who made the switch to Sixways in 2018 following a season with Bristol Bears Women, was a potent attacking threat throughout last season with her rip-roaring score against Firwood Waterloo underlining her credentials as a talented back three.
Meanwhile, Campbell, who is currently making the transition from back-row to prop, brings a wealth of experience to Jo Yapp’s set-up having won the Rugby League World Cup with New Zealand in 2008 prior to joining Warriors two years later.
“Warriors is a club that has really allowed me to develop as a player within a really professional and friendly environment,” said Cox, who started playing for Hungerford RFC when she was seven.
“We ended last season strongly and we showed a lot of character when putting together a three-game winning sequence at home against Bristol, Firwood Waterloo and Richmond.”
Berkshire-born Cox was part of the England Under-20s team that lifted the Tri-Nations Cup last year after defeating the USA and Canada, dotting down twice in the 62-0 victory over the States. Now Cox, who captained the Cardiff Met women’s team, will undoubtedly be itching to lace up her boots for the return of competitive rugby next season.
She added: “We’ve all been doing our individual training sessions at home in recent months and I can’t wait to join up with everyone when it’s safe to return to Sixways. I’m really positive about what we can achieve as a group next season.”
“Carys has established herself as a key member of the squad both on and off the field and she’s a pivotal player in our backline,” said former Wales international and Warriors Women Lead Coach Sian Moore.
“She’s a balanced runner, who picks aggressive lines and she’s a big threat with ball in hand. Hugely competitive and driven, Carys is determined to achieve her maximum potential as a rugby player.”
New Zealander Campbell, 34, has played a key role in helping the likes of Cox develop both on and off the field, her experience complementing the current crop of youngsters coming through the Sixways ranks.
She said: “The Worcester culture was like a family in 2010 and that culture has come back with Jo as Director of Rugby,” said Campbell.
“As one of the older girls, we need to push the younger ones to be the best they can be and help them achieve their aspirations. Playing for your country is such an honour and a dream, but you will never achieve that without your club. I know that I couldn’t have achieve international honours without my sisters at Richmond Roses.”
Winning the Rugby League World Cup with the Kiwi Ferns in 2008 by virtue of a 34-0 victory over Australia, Campbell went on to be selected for the New Zealand Maori sevens team in San Diego a year later.
Playing in New Zealand’s mixed tag World Cup-winning side, Campbell represented her country at her second Rugby League World Cup held in Leeds in 2013 before making the decision to stay at Worcester long-term.
“I’m looking forward to next season with Worcester and the prospect of moving into the front-row. Mike, our Forwards Coach has helped so much to prepare me for the front-row and when Jo asked me if I would consider playing there, I couldn’t say no as I have so much confidence in what she is building at the club.
“If that’s where she needs me, then I’m willing to give it my all.”
Delighted with the progress Campbell is making as she prepares to switch from back-row to front-row, Academy Forwards Transition Coach and Warriors Women Forwards Coach Mike Hill said: “Lisa is a big leader within the group and her experience has helped to develop the potential within the young squad we have.
“She has worked tirelessly to come back from her injury whilst also moving to prop, which she has taken to naturally.
“She impressed in the last two games we played with the positional change allowing her to continue her confrontational physical game.”