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Loughborough University name side for BUCS semi-final vs Exeter

Ellen Scantlebury will captain Loughborugh University in their BUCS National Championships semi-final clash with Exeter University on Wednesday 3 April (kick-off: 1pm).

The team travels down to Devon off the back of its most successful National League season since the Loughborough Lightning franchise began, securing a third-place finish to give them a shot at emulating the BUCS-winning side of 2005, which included alumni Sarah Hunter.

BUCS is now a key part of the Loughborough Lightning performance pathway with many of the Lightning senior and development performance squad members playing across Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby, Allianz Cup and BUCS competition.

Lilli Ives Campion, who recently captained England U20 against Army Women U20 and has spent time in the senior Red Roses squad during the current Six Nations, starts in the second row against Exeter.

The back three features plenty of Lightning experience with Georgina Tasker operating at full-back and Bo Westcombe Evans partnering Scantlebury on the wings.

Amelia Williams, Kendall Waudby and Isla Curphey in the front row have all featured in Allianz PWR squads this term, as has fly-half Lia Green and her half-back partner Lucy Weaver has started both of Lightning’s most-recent games.

“The girls have built really well as the season has gone on,” said Loughborough University BUCS 1 Head Coach, Katie Trevarthen. “I think they have learned as they’ve gone  and actually come up with some mature performances which is really good to see. A relatively similar group to this lost the quarter-final to Cardiff Met last year in a game they all felt they were going to win and should’ve won.

“You look at where they have come from then to a load of them getting Prem Cup opportunities, some of them getting Lightning opportunities, and how they have matured across the BUCS season as well.”

“I think we are in a really exciting place to go into the game. I am excited to see how we go.”

Katie Trevarthen, Loughborough University BUCS 1 Head Coach, Katie Trevarthen

Loughborough tasted victory over Exeter as recently as mid-February, when they claimed a 31-19 win at Epinal Way, which went some way towards avenging a 45-27 loss in December’s reverse match on the road.

Exeter ultimately finished one place and three points above Loughborough from their 12-game campaign and progressed to the last four with a 60-14 thrashing of Cardiff. Loughborough booked their place with a 96-12 demolition of Durham.

Hartpury, who topped the regular season table (thus getting a bye to the semi-finals) face Cardiff Met, who defeated Edinburgh 51-12, on Wednesday.

The winners of the two semi-finals will meet at StoneX Stadium on Wednesday 17 April.

On the challenge ahead, Trevarthen added: “Exeter are really tough competition for us. They are physical and they come with a lot of noise, they like to be in your face and, for us, we turn up, take it to them physically, and really front up and play like what we are capable of, it will be one hell of a game of rugby.”

Lightning Head Coach Nathan Smith said: “I’m really proud of the work Katie Trevarthen has done over the course of this season to grow and develop the Loughborough University women’s rugby programme, which is a key pillar of the Loughborough Lightning development pathway.

“I’m looking forward to going to Exeter and watching the players rip in and do the programme and the University proud.”

Loughborough University team to play Exeter University
Wednesday 3 April 2024
University of Exeter
Kick-off: 1pm

15 Georgina Tasker
14 Ellen Scantlebury
13 Becca Lawn
12 Molly Anderson-Thomas
11 Bo Westcombe Evans
10 Lia Green
9 Lucy Weaver

1 Amelia Williams
2 Kendall Waudby
3 Isla Curphey
4 Keevy Fitzpatrick
5 Lilli Ives Campion
6 Maisie Johns
7 Ellie Roberts
8 Lucy Finch

Replacements:
16 Cerys Shrewsbury
17 Katherine Baverstock
18 Stephanie Atkinson
19 Emily Peters
20 Issy Winter
21 Poppy Phillips
22 Alex Baker
23 Amelie Anstead

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