Nov 08, 2017
Saracens Women selected for Remembrance Match
Three Saracens Women have been selected to represent the UK Armed Force’s team for the annual Remembrance Match vs Wales at Cardiff Arms Park tonight, 19h30 kick off. Chrissy Siczowa, Charlotte Fredrickson and Ellie Gattlin have all been named for the UKAF team – best described as the Lions of Service rugby – which is drawn from the best players in the three Services: Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force and represent the pinnacle of rugby sporting achievement in the Armed Forces. Abi Newey was also involved in the extended training squad.
This year’s women’s match commemorates 100 years since the first Women’s rugby match in Wales and mainland Britain. The match, played on 16 December 1917 between Cardiff Ladies and Newport Ladies at Cardiff Arms Park was in aid of War Charities for those away fighting in the First World War. Women’s team sport more broadly, and rugby specifically, grew out of the camaraderie of the munitions’ factories during the war, producing rugby players like Maria Eley, the Cardiff Ladies full-back who played in the first game aged 17, and was recommended as a candidate for the first woman ever to enter the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Maria died ten years ago in 2007, and many at the match will also take a moment to remember her pioneering efforts on behalf of women in sport.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s match, Charlotte Fredrickson said: “The UKAF side will be expecting a tough encounter from a skilful, well drilled and physical Welsh side. It is always a great fixture, played in front of a good crowd at fantastic location. It is made all the more special for the Armed Forces players in that they get to commemorate Remembrance by playing a sport they love, with great people from all the three services.”
Echoing the purpose of that first Women’s game in Wales 100 years ago, the match this year will be played in support of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. UKAF will hope to raise even more than the c.£10,000 collected at last year’s Remembrance fixtures.
UKAF Women play Wales on 8 November 2017 at Cardiff Arms Park, kick-off 7.30pm, tickets available on the gate.