Same Venue, Different Jersey!

UKAF, Army and Royal Artillery centre, Gemma Rowland, will be looking to retain her place in the Wales match day squad as they prepare to take on World Champions, England, at the BT Sports Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, kick off 11:30.  It will be a return to the venue where she played against her international team mates in the annual Remembrance Match between UKAF Women and Wales Women.

 

MAJ Heather Stanning MBE presented the 2016 UKAF Women's rugby team with their playing shirts before the Remembrance Match against Wales.
Royal Artillery colleague, Heather Stanning MBE, presented Gemma Rowland with her UKAFRU shirt the last time she played at the Arms Park. She hopes to retain her place and be in the red of Wales on Saturday when they face World Champions, England.

 

Gemma was out in Italy last weekend as Wales avenged their defeat to the Azurri the previous year.  Though not able to fully pull away from their hosts they recorded, in the end, a comfortable 20-8 victory.  In his after match comments, Wales Head Coach, Rowland Phillips, voiced his thoughts that the improved Wales display was in no small part to a better autumn preparation where the series of games, included the match at the Arms Park against UKAF Women, certainly helped to sharpen up his team for the Six Nations challenge ahead.  On that Friday evening Gemma was on the wrong side of the welsh attacking flair and strength at the breakdown, which will be needed when they host England, the current World Champions.

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Amy Cokayne in action against France in the Old Mutual Wealth Series before Christmas. Image credit: JD Walton

 

Rowland is one of three Service Rugby players selected in the Six Nations squads.  She is joined by UKAF colleague, Charlie Murray (RAF) in the Wales squad and they face RAF Reservist, Amy Cokayne, in the England team.  Though Cokayne has yet to win UKAF honours she has cemented her position as the starting hooker for the England team and played a key role in their opening day Twickenham defeat of France.  Having been rocked by an explosive France first half, which took them in a 13-0 lead, Cokayne had to work hard to ensure that the English scrum approached parity with  the early dominance of the French scrum.  With an improved platform to work from. and a typical tenacious display in the loose from Amy, England were back in front by the time she was replaced with eight minutes remaining.  England went on to win the game 26-13 and will travel to Cardiff full of confidence.

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