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Excitement building as Lightning set to strike at the Gardens

Rhys Edwards admits the excitement is building among the Loughborough Lightning squad as they prepare to step out at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday evening (kick-off 5.15pm).

After an innovative new partnership between the Club and Loughborough University was announced last year, Lightning will play at the Gardens for the first time this weekend as they take on Exeter Chiefs Women in the Allianz Premier 15s.

It will be an historic day for both clubs, with matchday tickets covering both fixtures and AVAILABLE HERE from just £20 adult / £8 child.

And Loughborough Director of Rugby Edwards said: “It’s pretty exciting. Playing these big Premier 15s games is one thing, and it’s a big game for us in terms of the league, but there’s an added level of excitement because we’re playing at the Gardens.

“The players have been looking forward to this one, and the mood all week has been very good indeed.”

Rhys Edwards, Lightning Director of Rugby

“We had a tough start to the year with players being on World Cup duty, but we’ve had more consistent selection in recent weeks and the results are starting to show that.

“We’ve been on a pretty good run and we want to maintain that momentum to get into the top four, where we’ve been consistently in recent seasons.

“Saturday is the start of a big few weeks for us. We’ve got some world class players here when they’re available and it’s about getting the consistency.”

So, who are the players to look out for when sixth-placed Loughborough take on fourth-placed Exeter at the Gardens this weekend?

“We’ve got Sarah Hunter who is our player-coach, England captain, dependable and a big-game player,” Edwards said.

“She will be at the forefront of Saturday’s game as well as Lark Davies, who is probably the world’s best hooker at the moment. Her try-scoring feats are backing that up.

“We’ve also got some young players who have been going well. We’ve got a good blend of world class players and the next generation who are pretty exciting, like Helena Rowland at fly-half.

“It bodes well for us moving forward.”

Loughborough take to the turf approximately 30 minutes after the clash between Saints and Sale Sharks hits full-time, and Edwards is optimistic Lightning’s style of rugby will also appeal to the Gardens faithful.

“We are pretty similar to the way the Saints boys play, in terms of not being afraid to throw the ball around,” Edwards said.

“We’ve got the ability to keep it tight and play through if we need to, but ultimately the way we want to play is high tempo.

“We’re trying to keep chipping away at these results and hopefully putting ourselves back in the top four, and then going further from there.”

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