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Lightning confirm six players to leave at end of season

Loughborough Lightning can confirm six players will be leaving the club upon the conclusion of Sunday's Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby clash with Saracens Women.

The cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens encounter is the African Violets' final game of the 2023/24 campaign as they seek to sign off the season with a third consecutive victory following wins against Harlequins and Trailfinders - tickets are available for just £7.50 adults / £3 children* by clicking HERE.

This weekend, Lightning will be saying goodbye to Katie Trevarthen, Jenny Maxwell, Jess Weaver, Sally Williams, Carys Williams-Morris and Emma Hardy - who have collectively made 370 appearances for the club.

Loosehead prop Trevarthen is a Lightning original having played in their very first game against Worcester Valkyries in September 2017. She retired at the end of last season before answering new head coach Nathan Smith's call to play for one more year. The 28-year-old became the first Lightning player to reach 100 appearances when she ran out against Harlequins earlier this month. 

Scrum-half Maxwell is another Lightning original who was there from game one against Worcester seven years ago. The Scotland international has played 39 times for Loughborough, scoring five tries. Maxwell spent a period on loan at Edinburgh this season as she continued her rehabilitation from a knee injury and made her Lightning return after 25 months in the Allianz Cup away victory against Sale Sharks in April.

Fellow scrum-half Jess Weaver has clocked up 56 Lightning appearances since making her debut against Saracens in November 2018. Jess, the older sister of fellow Lightning number nine Lucy, is relocating to a different country to pursue a career opportunity.

Winger Williams-Morris is another long-serving Lightning player who is moving on having made her debut way back in November 2017 against Richmond Ladies. She leaves with an impressive strike rate of 27 tries in 64 appearances.

Finally, back row Williams leaves Lightning having made 25 appearances after making her debut against Saracens in November 2022.

Lightning previously announced the departure of another 'original' in the form of centre Emma Hardy, who made her 85th and final appearance against Sale Sharks earlier this month. She leaves as the club's third-highest all-time appearance maker.

"I want to thank all of them for their contribution to Lightning this year," said head coach Nathan Smith. "Both for the progression of the club moving forward, for that I am extremely grateful, but I would also like to thank them for their service for Lightning over their time with the club. They have played a huge part in the club's history. 

"They should be hugely proud of what they have achieved while they have been with Lightning.  We wish them all the best with their futures, whatever direction they go down."

Ahead of the 2024/25 season, Lightning have announced contract extensions for Rachel Malcolm, Christine Belisle, Megan Davey, Sadia Kabeya, Emma Wassell, Bo Westcombe-Evans, Lilli Ives Campion, Catherine O’Donnell, Carmela Morrall and Lia Green.

Further contract extensions, new signings and departures will be revealed in the coming weeks. 

Season tickets for the 2024/25 Lightning season are on sale now priced from just £40 for adults and £20 for children. For more information, please click HERE.

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