By Molly Ambler
As we head into a new season of rugby, Cardiff University Ladies Rugby Team look ahead to a season of fresh opportunities and chances to shine. I caught up with Captain Maeve Liston to hear her thoughts on the up and coming season.
GR: Maeve, how does it feel to be appointed captain?
ML: “Honestly, it’s such a privilege to be named captain for my last season with CULRFC. Over my time here in Cardiff, being a part of the Women’s rugby team has been my highlight, so being able to lead the team into hopefully a successful year and to try and get as many girls into this great sport is my way of giving back”
GR: After the disappointment of Varsity, how do you feel the team has responded?
ML: “Varsity last March, of course, was a huge disappointment for us! Feeling like we let Cardiff down in the Principality stadium is something that I don’t think we will forget, but I think we are using that disappointment and turning it into something really constructive! We have been really lucky that over the summer we have been given strength and conditioning programmes from one of our coaches to help us keep ticking over the summer months so now that we are back we are not too far behind and we are getting ready to hit the season running”
GR: How do you feel the team has been developing throughout the summer?
ML: Over the summer months we have all been trying to work on our individual stuff but now that we are getting closer to the in season we are trying to get our team plays in order. We have some great talent coming into the team this year which is going to really help us build as a team and keep us old girls on our toes! I think we are preparing well and have had a challenge game, which has given the newer girls time to show their talent”
GR: What are your expectations, in terms the team’s achievements, for the coming season?
ML: “Given the mix of both experience and talent on our team, I think there is no doubt that this could be a very successful season! Of course, winning back Varsity against Swansea is always in the back of our minds but at the moment our top priority is going to be trying to win our league so that the girls next year can play teams of an even greater standard of rugby while also taking a step towards placing Cardiff amongst the elite universities for Women’s rugby”
Outside of the university, the team has had some major successes. Morfudd Ifans, vice-captain, has recently represented Wales at the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in August in Ireland. Morfudd is a very talented player who is a vital element to the team as well as a respected player in the squad. This calibre of player in the squad does stand the team in good stead to be able to compete at the highest level of Women’s rugby and hopefully allow the girls to go on and win the league.
The challenge game took place on the 11th October against Bristol 2nds. The team gave a fantastic performance, winning the game 50-10. There were many positives to be taken from the game, with the team demonstrating a solid defence and the ability to work of each other, however, like every team there are naturally things to improve on. The league begins on the 18th October against Bath University 1st XV. Bath have enjoyed a successful last season (2016-2017) winning the title, cup and 7’s treble. Despite this, the Cardiff team have been preparing well and are sure to make a good start to the season with new talent and a fresh appeptite for success. BUCS begins with Bath and hopefully a win.