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Diss Rugby Club's Vixens link up with Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club in bid to get more regular match action

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Diss Rugby Club’s youth Vixens took their place at the Eastern Counties Girls Rugby Festival hosted at Bury St Edmunds on Sunday – the biggest event of its kind in the region.

A total of 350 players competed despite a number of teams seeing their numbers hampered by the impact of Covid-19.

Diss are no different, with some squad members within the different age groups yet to return following the start of the pandemic.

Action from the Eastern Counties Festival. Picture: Mark Westley
Action from the Eastern Counties Festival. Picture: Mark Westley

However, the Under-13s, Under-15s and Under-18s all joined forces with their Bury counterparts – something it is hoped will mark the start of a good relationship between the two clubs.

While the agreement is still very much in its infancy, Diss and Bury have plans to combine their teams in a bid to combat dwindling numbers, starting this weekend when a couple of players from Bury are set to join Diss Under-13s at Lowestoft and Yarmouth.

The following weekend it will be Diss on their travels when they head with Bury into Cambridgeshire to take on Shelford at all age levels.

Action from the Eastern Counties Festival. Picture: Mark Westley
Action from the Eastern Counties Festival. Picture: Mark Westley

James Stanley, the head of girls rugby at Diss, said: “We’ve lost players since Covid that are not quite confident to come back yet and in the Under-18s some of those players have gone to university.

“We’re trying hard to encourage more girls into the sport and that’s part of the reason behind the link-up with Bury.

“We’re looking to share fixture lists and it gives the girls some proper game time.

“It’s still very early days but it’s a good club to be aligned with. They’ve got a very successful ladies team but the girls section hasn’t taken off recently. Our girls section has been strong in recent years so hopefully we can both feed off each other.”

Diss RFC Vixens U15s
Diss RFC Vixens U15s

Among the stand-out moments for the Vixens at the competition in Bury was the try scored by Under-15s player Emily Rackham against a Crusaders Cambridge team.

The Under-15s came up against some tough opposition over the course of the afternoon but still showed a good understanding with their new team-mates from Bury.

Harry Badman, who is Bury’s head of women’s youth rugby, added: “We could not be more proud of the hard work that all the girls have put in to get to the level of competition shown this weekend.

“These festivals are a melting pot for the best teams in the area to compete at the highest level and prove why they deserve to take the next step to a regional team level.

“We wish all those selected to play for Eastern Counties the best of luck.”

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