Centre of Excellence trio to play in North versus South clash

Warriors Women’s Centre of Excellence is bearing fruit, with Evie Clarke, Tillie Westwood and Daisie Smith gaining selection for the mouth-watering North versus South under-18s clash this weekend.

Clarke has been named on the wing for South with Westwood among the replacements. Smith is named as a replacement for the North squad as all players look to impress and progress along the England pathway. Evie is the younger sister of Warriors wing Cara and comes from a big rugby-playing family having also seen Brooke and Dijana pull on the Warriors jersey.

Smith plays her under-18s rugby at Tamworth and Staffordshire County, and has taken her game to the next level in recent seasons.

Westwood was brought to the attention of Centre of Excellence staff through a girls only camp day and then successfully trialled and has been impressing ever since.

North will be coached by Warriors Women Head of Women’s Development Benny Williams and South will be coached by Warriors scrum-half Caity Mattinson.

The fixture is an important part of England Women’s performance pathway, which identifies and supports emerging talent at under-18 level.

“I’m incredibly proud of Evie, Tillie and Daisie. They have worked incredibly hard to be part of the Talent Development Group,” said Williams, who has been a key figure in helping to develop youth at Sixways Stadium.

“We can’t wait to watch them all flourish in this weekend’s game. It’s also great to see Lilli Ives-Campion and Olivia Constable again, having both started their Centre of Excellence journeys at Worcester Warriors and have since moved away from the area. Catherine Wells, another Centre of Excellence player, has also been training well in the North group but unfortunately has sustained an injury.”

The North’s base has been Sheffield, with Williams enthused by the experience, adding: “Personally as a coach I have learnt a lot in the time that I have been with the North squad and I’m looking forward to implementing some of my learnings back into our Centre of Excellence.

“That will help more young players make the move up to the next stage of the pathway. It’s great to see Caity Mattinson coaching the South group too as she’s a fantastic coach and a great role model to all those girls having progressed all the way up the pathway herself.”