SPORT — 20 August 2014

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by Sean Moriarty

North London rugby club Kilburn Cosmos, hoping to build on the success of the Irish and English women’s rugby teams at World Cup level wants to attract members of local ladies GAA teams, to its ranks.

Cosmos, which plays its home-games in Gladstone Park in Brent, has included a reasonably successful ladies arm in its clubs for close on ten years.

But now, following the fantastic run by the two home teams in the recent world championships, and the strong presence of ladies Gaelic Football in London, that the time is now right and they are casting their nets wider in an effort to expand its squad before their season starts on September 14.

The club believes that Gaelic football, run largely over a summer season, and rugby, a winter sport, can compliment each other.

Mayo native and club second row Dee Ginty says: “I think it will be really good for the rugby world in London and The Gaelic football world because the seasons actually really mash up. A lot of Irish girls that come over play Gaelic Football , that is kind of a summer game so rugby , it really compliments that whole thing.”

Club manager, Brittany Rogers who is originally from Cleveland Ohio, believes that the skills in both codes are easily inter-changeable.

She adds: “The Gaelic football girls, they know how to kick. The kicking part of women’s rugby is very under-rated, under-used, especially at our level in the lower divisions and that would give that type of team an instant advantage. We have quite a few girls that play Gaelic Football that play for us.”

It is not just Irish women that the club is trying to attract, it even has a young Bulgarian women, never a rugby a rugby stronghold on its books.

Miss Ginty, who has being playing with the club for four years adds: “We are all inclusive, we got two senior men’s teams and a big junior section. We are the only rugby team in Brent, apparently. We welcome all and every one.”

The team manager echoed these sentiments: “Our main target  is mainly local people because it is easier for them to get to training etc but , but we do, (in the girls and the boys teams), have people coming from South London and East London , so there is a membership from outside the catchment area.”

The squad plays its rugby in the Middlesex County League where members of Cosmos and other teams are under the watchful eye of scouts from the county – from there it is possible that stand-out players would progress to either the Irish or English national teams.

Membership is on the up but the club is still keen to attract more:

Brittany adds: “This summer our recruitment has spiked, weather this is from the Women’s World Cup or just fluke we don’t know. I think women’s rugby has been in the news more, people are finding it a bit more accessible, before people were saying ‘maybe I can’t’  but this has changed a few minds.”

The club will host its biggest day of the year on September 6 – The Browne’s Cup – where members of the women’s, men’s and junior teams will take part in a series of round-robin games against a number of other local invited clubs.  This will take place at the club’s pitch at Gladstone Park and will be followed by a barbecue and social occasion.

Training for the women’s team continues on Tuesday nights (7pm) and Sunday afternoon (12:30pm).

For further details on the club contact Brittany Rogers on 07765 116213 or www.pitchero.com/clubs/kilburncosmos.

 

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