The Allianz Premier 15s season is coming to an end, with two play-off matches scheduled to take place tomorrow. GiveMeSport Women runs through the names worth watching.
Harlequins are set to play host to Wasps at Twickenham Stoop, before reigning champions Saracens take on Loughborough Lightning at Stonex Stadium. The winning teams will earn a place in the coveted Premier 15s Grand Final, scheduled for May 30th.
Both fixtures will see the return of a limited number of spectators and will be broadcast live on the BT Sport app. There is no excuse not to watch – but which players should you be keeping an eye on?
Rachael Burford – Harlequins
It will be a special day for Harlequins captain Rachael Burford. She is set to make her 50th appearance for the club in front of spectators at The Stoop.
The 34-year-old Burford is highly experienced. She is an England legend, playing at the 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2017 Rugby World Cups, and earned the International Rugby Players’ Association merit award in 2017.
The centre will be hoping to use all her wisdom to help Harlequins into the Grand Final.
Maud Muir – Wasps
Burford will be facing off against Maud Muir of Wasps. The 19-year-old prop is one of the emerging talents in women’s rugby, and could really make a name for herself in tomorrow’s match.
Her performances for her club so far earned her a place at England’s Six Nations training camp last month, showing she is one to watch for future stardom.
Poppy Cleall – Saracens
Poppy Cleall, named Player of the Championship for last month’s Six Nations, will be in action for Saracens this weekend. The 28-year-old, known for her versatility on the pitch, is widely considered one of the best rugby players in the world.
Her performance could be decisive for Saracens against Loughborough Lightning.
Sarah Hunter – Loughborough Lightning
Cleall is set to go up against England teammate and fellow number eight Sarah Hunter. The 35-year-old has only just recovered from injury, returning to captain England against Italy in the Women’s Six Nations.
Despite the lengthy layoff, Hunter’s teammates will look to her as they face the hard task of beating defending champions Saracens.
Rachel Malcolm – Loughborough Lightning
Scotland’s Rachel Malcom will be another integral player for Loughborough Lightning. The team’s captain is another to recently recover from injury, returning to her club side after picking up an injury at the Six Nations.
This will be a big boost for the visiting side, who can now boast a wealth of experienced heads among their line-up.
Harlequins and Wasps will kick off tomorrow at 12:30pm, followed by Saracens against Loughborough Lightning at 2:30pm. They will be free to watch on the BT Sport app.