Category: Women & Girls

Tamara Taylor and Heather Kerr share International experience with a growing Durham County Women’s side

Tamara Taylor and Heather Kerr share International experience with a growing Durham County Women’s side


Durham County Senior Women welcomed Tamara Taylor and Heather Kerr to share their international knowledge ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.

The County Senior Women had the pleasure of experiencing how the England players train their body to International standard at one of their training sessions at Hartlepool Rugby Club.

Taylor and Kerr worked alongside the forwards teaching them new techniques and skills for scrummaging and lineouts.

Paul Geehan, Durham County Senior Women Team Manager said: “Having the pleasure of the two players helping out and chatting with our women will certainly put us on the front foot against our opposition.

“They are both great ambassadors for the game and the players had a great night learning new techniques.”

Earlier this year, Taylor was awarded her 100th International Cap for England playing Lock in the RBS Six Nations match against Wales.

Prop, Kerr has not been short of success, at her young age of 25 she has seven international caps and was this year named RFU Young Player of the Year.

Both girls play alongside one another at Darlington Mowden Park Sharks who were recently announced as part of the new Women’s Premiership Super League programme.

In other training sessions and trials, there have been a record number of women trying out for the County squad.

Over fifty players showed interest in the County team from teams: Sunderland RFC, Darlington RFC, Darlington Mowden Park, Billingham RFC, Hartlepool Rovers, Durham University and Bishop Auckland.

The players have been pushed in various aspects of the game throughout trials working on tackling, line outs, scrums, game plans and more.

Durham County Senior Women coaching team is made up of a variety of experience including, Emily Hunter- DMP Sharks player, Chris Marsden of Bishop Auckland, Chris Geehan of Sunderland XV, David Addison of Sunderland Ladies and newest member Matty Lidster and a fully qualified physiotherapist, JoJo Maddison for match days.


Pictured: 2015/2016 team photo against Cumbria 


Geehan commented on the high numbers at trials saying: “It is unbelievable and by having an influx of players will allow us to develop as well as maintain stability with the experienced players too.

“Having such phenomenal numbers will only make us stronger as a County in the women’s game!”

To utilise the high numbers, the coaching staff are hoping to run a development game against Lancashire.

Following three weeks of trials, the coaching staff have named a development squad and an initial quad which will be cut for games:

Main Squad of 35

Katie Dodgson – Darlington
Alex Webster – DMP
Emily Hunter – DMP
Sarah Hall – Darlington
Nicole Irving -Sunderland Flames
Katherine Insall- Durham University
Saskia Ryan Munden – Sunderland Flames
Ali Bell – Darlington
Lydia Harris – Durham University
Steph Maddison – Sunderland Flames
Kirsty Paterson – Sunderland Flames
Tara Breslin – Sunderland Flames
Claudia Macdonald – DMP/ Durham University
Ursula Hardy – Darlington
Clarissa Murphy – Sunderland Flames
Jess Cheesman – Darlington
Leah davies – Sunderland Flames/ Sunderland University
Suzanne Falconer – Sunderland Flames
Amanda Hilton – Sunderland Flames
Rachel Turnbull – Darlington
Sally Downie – Bishop Auckland
Caitie Smith – DMP
Amber Stonehouse – Sunderland Flames
Jenny Cox – Sunderland Flames
Lyndsay Burn – Darlington
Tara Slater – Sunderland University / Sunderland Flames
Kate Byrnes – Billingham
Beth Blacklock – Durham Univeristy
Catherine McCabe – Sunderland Flames
Amie Bell – Bishop Auckland
Molly Stonebank – Bishop Auckland
Charmaine lamb – Hartlepool Rovers
Abby Richardson – Hartlepool Rovers
Chloe Allison – Bishop Auckland

Development Squad:

Kelly Thomas – Bishop Auckland
Carol Hockworth – Bishop Auckland
Emma Quinn – Bishop Auckland
Natalie Wintersgill – Hartlepool Rovers
Natasha Kennedy – Hartlepool Rovers
Clare Braham – Hartlepool Rovers
Anna Braham – Hartlepool Rovers
Bethany shears – Hartlepool Rovers
Louise Randall – Hartlepool Rovers
Jaz Bradley – Billingham
Kellie palmer – Hartlepool Rovers
Hester Ormerod – Durham Uni
Kate Mcdermott – Sunderland University/ Sunderland Flames


Durham County Senior Women take on Northumberland in their first game for the Gill Burns County Championships on Friday, April 28 at Novocastrians – 7pm KO.

The next two games have been fortunate to fall locally, taking on Cumbria at Blaydon on Sunday, May 7 – 2pm KO and Lancashire on Sunday, May 14 at Darlington Rugby Club- 2pm KO.

Show your support and show up to watch your County Women in some exciting and entertaining games!


By Clarissa Murphy

Register your #InnerWarrior events


Register your #InnerWarrior events 


After a successful launch to #InnerWarrior in January of this year, the RFU are setting up for another plough at the women and girls promotion through a secondary #InnerWarrior promo event!

You can register your clubs #InnerWarrior event here and gain extra support, resources and more!

Help grow the game together!


Durham County RFU look to empower the youth of game with the help of RFU staff

Durham County RFU look to empower the youth of game with the help of RFU staff


Durham County RFU are forming  a ‘Youth Council’ to empower the next generation of the game and grow the game from its roots.

By creating a Youth Council, a group of selected individuals will be responsible for; growing the game, representing the County and being ambassadors for the the game we love… RUGBY!

The posts are open to members from clubs, schools, universities, colleges and more.

For more information and how to apply see the forms below. Candidates will be invited to a selection day on April, 26 from 4pm.

Are you right for the job?
Terms of Reference - DCYC - Edit
Think it is for you? Fill out the application form below

Return your application by midnight March, 31 to Matt Bryan, Durham RDO:

Download the application here 

Durham Youth Council Application Form (2)
Code of Conduct 
Code of conduct - DCYC - edit


We look forward to hearing from you and meeting you!


Durham Women: Fixtures released

Durham Women’s fixtures
The Senior Women’s teams fixtures for the 2016/2017 season have been confirmed:
Durham V Northumberland : Friday April, 28 – Novocastrians (Friday night game)
Durham V Cumbria: Sunday May, 7 – Blaydon Rugby Club
Durham V Lancashire : Sunday, May, 14 –  Darlington Rugby Club, Blackwell Meadows.

Three Durham U18 girls proceed into North of England squad

Three Durham U18 girls proceed into North of England squad


Following the North of England assessment day at Sheffield Hallam, three of the U18 girls from Durham have been asked back as part of the squad.

As a County we are very proud that a number of our U15 and U18 girls were invited along to the day and congratulate those that successfully proceed.

The U18s include: 

Imogen Keirl (ex Bishop Auckland now Castleford)

Ellie Pigford (Horden and Peterlee)

Maddison Craggs (Horden & Peterlee)

County U18s: Team photo


The other four girls trialed did extremely well!

See how the U15s got on here 

Check out the Women and girls county teams to find out more about them here: U15 & U18

Durham U15 girls successfull at North of England trials

Durham U15 girls successfull at North of England trials 

It is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations and best of luck to the following Durham County U15 players who were successful and the North Academy assessments:

April Ishida – Harton Technology College

Mia Simpson – Hartlepool Rovers

Jasmine Hendin – Horden & Peterlee

All the girls that attended the trial from Durham County have been sent a letter from the North of England manager whether it be congratulations or explanation on how to receive feedback on their performance and they can access this until February, 11.

The girls that attended the trials were: 


Imogen Keirl – ex Bishop Auckland now Castleford

Erin Kelly and Molly Hadfield – Bishop Auckland

Ellie Pigford and Maddy Craggs – Horden & Peterlee

Erin High and Charlotte Lamb – Sunderland



Dannah Ryan-Munden – Horden & Peterlee

Kate Smith – Ryton

April Ishida – Harton Technology College

Nicole Johnston  – Hartlepool Rovers

Mia Simpson – Hartlepool Rovers

Eden Button – Bishop Auckland

Jasmine Hendin – Horden & Peterlee

Sophie Derbyshire – Hartlepool Rovers

Upcoming Events

  • April 26, 2017
    • Senior County Cup Final

      The finalists are yet to be known but the match will take place on April 26 , 2017.

  • April 27, 2017
    • Discipline Committee
      7:00 pm

      Discipline Committee will meet at Sunderland RFC

  • April 29, 2017
    • Darlo mini and junior festival
      10:30 am

      Festival of rugby for age groups, Under 16, Under 15, Under 14 & Under 13.
      Entering a team costs £25 each but if you enter four, the fifth goes free. To book contact:

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