The Crawshay’s Rugby Club are proud to announce they will be playing their first ever women’s fixture against Wales on Saturday November 23rd2019 as part of Wales’s Autumn International fixtures.

The Crawshay’s will select top end players from the domestic and international game and will be coached by two legends in the women’s game, Liza Burgess and Rachel Taylor.

Liza Burgess’s rugby career has spanned three decades, including participating in Wales Women’s first-ever international in 1987, captaining Wales 62 times, playing in four World Cups, and coaching in two World Cups. Most impressively, Burgess was inducted into World Rugby’s Hall of Fame in 2018 having been the only Welsh female player and only one of twenty Welsh players in total who have been inducted. Burgess currently coaches Hartpury College with the Senior Women’s and BUCS squads and in 2017 had the honour of being the Assistant Coach for the inaugural Women’s Barbarians game.

Rachel Taylor, with 67 caps to her name is also one of Wales’s most decorated players and iconic captains. She played for the Barbarians in their first women’s fixture against Munster last year. Taylor historically became the first female head coach of a men’s Welsh National League side when she was appointed by Colwyn Bay in 2018.

The time and venue of the fixture against Wales is to be confirmed but it will form part of Wales’s programme of 2019 Autumn Internationals. They have also confirmed fixtures against Spain and the Barbarians in November.

Will Thomas, Crawshay’s Club Secretary, commented on the historic fixture “Having seen the impact that the Barbarians women’s fixtures have had over the past 18 months, we realised we there was undoubtedly a gap in the women’s game for invitational rugby teams and the Crawshay’s. We want to make a similar impact over the coming years and we want to make a big impact in this very first game against the Welsh national team. Liza and Rachel, who are extremely well connected in the game will look to select a squad of players from the UK and wider afield from the club and international game with a view to creating history in what is already a historic fixture for the Crawshay’s”.

The Crawshay’s were formed in 1922 when Captain Geoffrey Crawshay took his first team to play against Devonport Services in 1922 at the invitation of the Engineer Commander S.F. Cooper. The Club has now played, since that first match, in many countries of the world. There have been many tours by both the Senior and Youth XV’s including 15 French tours, tours to Italy, Germany, Russia, South Africa, Ireland, Spain, Latvia, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Thailand, plus Seven – a side tournaments in Hong Kong, Dubai, Monte Carlo, Portugal and Scotland.

When Captain Geoffrey Crawshay died in 1954 the Club might have lapsed but thanks to the guidance of a few old players headed by the late Judge Rowe Harding, who had played in the first game, and the late Wilfred Jones who became the first official secretary of the Club and with the great support from Colonel Sir William Crawshay, the Club entered a new era.

In 1964, in order to finance the club Sir William suggested appointing twelve Vice Presidents at a subscription of five guineas each. Today we have more than 650 Vice Presidents from all over the world paying an annual subscription of £70 which allows the Club to survive and support both the Senior and Youth teams in this relatively new era of professional rugby. Some 90 years on since the first game the spirit of Crawshay’s remains the same. It is how the game is played on and off the field that matters and the friendships are made for life. In the fast changing world of rugby and sport the spirit of Crawshay’s never changes.

Since 1922 over 400 players that have represented the Club at either Youth or Senior level have gone on to represent the senior Welsh team. For a Welsh player, it was considered one of three major milestones to tick off in a career: Represent your country, earn selection for The British & Irish Lions – and be invited to play for Crawshay’s Welsh. Other players have gone on to represent the senior International teams of England, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, USA, Canada, Malta, South Africa and New Zealand. Notable current and recent International players who have played for Crawshay’s include Ryan Jones, Shane Williams, Dan Lydiate, Richard Hibbard, Rhys Gill, Andy Powell, Hallam Amos and Andrew Coombs of Wales and the England players Mauritz Botha and Tom Wood.

Once we’ve agreed a venue and kick off time, we will inform our membership of the arrangements.

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