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Want to play women’s rugby in Exeter, meet new people and become part of something new and exciting? We are looking to recruit more members so with no experience required, join today!

If you are interested in being part of this special and exciting new venture do contact our Captain, Katie Rushworth 07719033811 for details, or simply turn-up at one of our Tuesday sessions. No experience is required, just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.

An ability to laugh, enjoy teamwork, socialise is vital!

Founded in 1983, Topsham Rugby Club has over 350 playing members. Located on the Exeter Road in Topsham, we are one of the biggest forces in rugby in the South West of England. We presently have two senior teams, a Colts team, U16/15/14/13 and run Mini Rugby from ages seven to twelve. Our club members range from life-members and founders through to newbies and we are proud to have members from all backgrounds and a variety of nationalities. We have strong links with the Royal Marine base at Lympstone and several of our players, past and present, are members of the Armed Forces. We are also forging links with the Exeter Chiefs. We hosted two of the Chiefs U20s matches last season and the first team used our facilities for training on a number of occasions. We are delighted that a number of our players have come through our junior ranks and have now acquired Academy contracts with the Exeter Chiefs. It is surely only a matter of time until a former Topsham player appears in the Premiership. Anyone can join our club, which is a registered charity.

In recent years the Club became more and more aware that our Clubhouse and changing room facilities were completely inadequate for the numbers of players we were attracting. A major fund raising campaign was launched in 2012 to obtain finance for the redevelopment of our changing rooms and the extension of our Clubhouse. As a result of a herculean effort, which involved numerous events, such as a fund raising Ball and a cycle ride, the Club managed to raise a substantial sum itself. With support from Exeter City Council, the RFU and Viridor Landfill Tax Credits an additional  £500,000 was secured. This sum allowed us to transform our old Clubhouse into four RFU approved changing and officials rooms and build a Clubhouse extension which now incorporates a Member’s Bar and Main area that accommodates events of up to 100 persons. The new Clubhouse has already become a significant community facility within Topsham, hosting the scouts, fitness classes and a playgroup, as well as parties and Club socials. We have now appointed a full time Clubhouse Manager who can be contacted on 01392 8736

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The improved facilities, particularly our stunning new changing rooms, sparked the idea of forming a Ladies Team based at Topsham RFC, named the Exonians. August 2015 sees the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France. IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset has predicted a stellar year g from for the Women’s Game  “These are exciting times for the Women’s Game. This year’s Women’s Sevens World Series is already building on the great strides made last year and competition, viewership and attendance has all grown,” said Lapasset. “Fifteens competition is also benefitt in increased participation and profile and I am looking forward to a competitive Women’s 6 Nations that will provide a taste of what to expect at Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 in France this August.” Lapasset stated that “I’m delighted by the strong progress of Women’s Rugby across all continents. There are now more women and girls playing than ever before, as well as greater levels of international competition in Sevens and Fifteens.” There are now almost 1.5 million women and girls actively participating in Rugby in countries on every continent. This accounts for more than a fifth of the world’s Rugby playing population, cementing the sport as one of the fastest growing team sports for Women.

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Thoughts will soon turn to the Rugby World Cup (RWC) which is to be hosted at venues throughout England, including Exeter’s Sandy Park. Starting in September 2015 the RWC is sure to e world. introduce a new generation to the sport as well as thrilling rugby fans around thExeter City Council is keen to promote and encourage Topsham’s hopes for the Exonians, for with Sandy Park hosting three of the RWC fixtures in 2015, the Council see the creation of a Women’s team in Exeter as a major legacy project from the RWC in the City. CLL Rosie Denham, Portfolio holder for Economy & Culture at Exeter City Council, has said ‘I am hugely enthusiastic about the Rugby World Cup 2015 coming to Exeter.  I think that this will act as a catalyst for so many new activities and legacy benefits across the city.  For me personally, I would like to see a female rugby team in the city.  I know that there are currently several successful girls teams in the city and no current pathway for them to progress into a women’s league. As part of the work we are doing working with partners to ensure a lasting legacy in Exeter we are supporting Topsham Rugby Club in their efforts to set-up a Women’s team to represent Exeter at a local, regional and national level.’

Topsham RFC are also receiving support from Active Devon and the RFU in their ambitions for the formation of the Exonians. We are also delighted to be forming a close partnership with a major shirt sponsor, Yello Studios, who are firmly committed to helping the team grow and thrive. Women’s rugby in Devon in growing in size and importance, with the major factor holding its development back being the distance players have to travel between fixtures. It is hoped that the establishment of a team based in Exeter will ease these travel problems and introduce the game to a new generation of players.

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