England rugby stars coach Weston-super-Mare ladies rugby team Hornettes RFC

Hornettes RFC welcomed 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup winner Rochelle Clark and England winger Jonny May
Hornettes RFC welcomed 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup winner Rochelle Clark and England winger Jonny May

Weston-super-Mare ladies rugby team Hornettes RFC welcomed 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup winner Rochelle Clark and England winger Jonny May to Hutton Moor Park on Tuesday night for an exclusive training session, courtesy of QBE Insurance, official partner of England Rugby.
The England stars visited the Somerset-based club to congratulate Hornettes U13 coach Rhiannon Tottle on winning the QBE Insurance My Coach award, a nationwide initiative that rewards coaches who have inspired and supported the success of players in grassroots rugby. Rhiannon is one just four coaches across the country to be honoured by the programme.
Rochelle and Jonny joined Rhiannon on the pitch for a two hour training session alongside 40 girls from the club’s U12 and U16 sides. The England duo were impressed by the level of quality in the girls play and provided the eager youngsters with tips and advice on ball skills, rucking, mauling and tackling.
Hornettes coach Rhiannon was nominated for the My Coach award by Sophie Reed, one of the players she trains. Sophie put Rhiannon forward for the award because of her inclusive approach to training, the contribution she makes to the team and the time she dedicates to training and coaching the Hornettes.
Rhiannon’s My Coach win demonstrates just how the women’s game continues to develop and attract new players to the sport. Of the 2,015 new Level 2 rugby coaches to be recruited and trained through the QBE Coaching Club, a joint initiative with the Rugby Football Union (RFU), more than 10% of those are women. It’s estimated that the newly qualified coaches will share their knowledge with more than 50,000 players, of which 8,500 will be girls.
QBE My Coach winner Rhiannon Tottle said: “It’s been fantastic coaching alongside Rochelle and Jonny this evening. I’ve taken away so much from them being here and the girls have really benefited as well. Rochelle in particular is an inspiration for us having achieved so much in the game. We are one of the only clubs in the area that offer girls teams in all age groups, so it is incredible to have someone like Rochelle come down. I’m so grateful to QBE Insurance for this opportunity and to Sophie for nominating me. Without her this would never have happened.”
2014 Women’s World Cup winner Rochelle Clark said: “It is great to come down to a grassroots club like this. The enthusiasm shown by the girls is incredible. I’m really looking forward to seeing the next generation of England Women come through. The QBE Coaching Club has been fantastic for women’s rugby. They have trained up 2,015 new Level 2 coaches, including about 200 female coaches and the initiative will impact more than 8,000 women and girls. Getting more and more qualified coaches into clubs across the country is really important to help young girls stay in the game.”
England and Gloucester Rugby winger Jonny May said: “I started at a grassroots club like this so it is really nice to come down to such a welcoming club. Without people like Rhiannon giving up their time grassroots rugby wouldn’t exist, so it is great to be able to come down and celebrate her QBE My Coach Award. Programmes like the QBE Coaching Club are really important for grassroots rugby. We need to keep getting more qualified coaches at a grassroots level, engaging kids across the country.”
Hornettes U13 player Sophie Reed said, “Meeting Rochelle and Jonny was amazing. They have played at the highest level of the game and I took away so much from their time at the club. Having them coach us is a once in a lifetime experience and they have helped us so much. ”
If you would like to find out more about QBE’s involvement in rugby head to www.QBErugby.com or follow us on Twitter @QBErugby