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Breach and England's Red Roses are blooming brilliant to win the Six Nations

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The Red Roses secured the 2019 Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam with a 80-0 bonus-point win over Scotland at Twickenham Stadium – and West Sussex star Jess Breach can look back on the campaign with immense pride after ending it as top try scorer.

Having already won their first four games with bonus points, England ran in 12 tries in front of a record crowd for a women’s game at Twickenham of 13,278 to secure the title that France won last year.

The Red Roses celebrate the Grand Slam / Picture by Getty Images via RFU Collection

The Red Roses celebrate the Grand Slam / Picture by Getty Images via RFU Collection

It took just over two minutes for England to score as Poppy Cleall broke the line and fed Sarah Beckett for the flanker to cross under the sticks.

A cross field kick from Katy Daley-Mclean was gathered as the ball bounced by wing Breach as she continued her run of scoring in every game of the 2019 Women’s Six Nations – a remarkable feat for the former Chichester RFC and Pulborough RFC youngster whose family are in Felpham.

Natasha Hunt darted through from a quick tap penalty before Breach got onto Scarratt’s kick forward for her second and England’s bonus-point.

Alphonsi tips Breach for the top

Breach is a wow against Wales

The first half scoring continued as Cleall drove over following some impressive forward work, and it was the pack’s work from driving maul from a lineout where Amy Cokayne dropped over the line off the back for a 45-0 lead at the break.

Sarah Bern’s powerful drive off the back of a ruck got England’s first try of the second half with captain Sarah Hunter scoring in similar circumstances a few minutes later. And further tries from Scarratt, Cleall and Cath O’Donnell sealed the deal for the Red Roses.

England’s campaign got off to an impressive start when they ran in eight tries in a 51-7 victory over Ireland in Dublin.

Bonus-point wins continued as England racked up the tries, beating France 41-26 in Doncaster, overcoming Wales 51-12 in Cardiff and a 55-0 victory over Italy in Exeter in front of a record non-World Cup crowd for a home game with 10,545 watching.

The victory over Scotland means that England scored over 50 points in four of their five games, scoring 45 tries over the tournament.

It is England’s 15th win of the tournament since its inception in 1996, the 14th time they have won the Grand Slam and their 20th Triple Crown.

After a spending a year in the England Sevens programme, Harlequins Ladies wing Breach returned to XVs rugby this year and slotted straight back in as she scored with her first touch back with the Red Roses against Ireland.

Her impressive try scoring stats continued as she scored twice in each of the games against France, Wales and Italy – and ended the competition with the highest metres made and the most line breaks. Breach’s brace against Scotland means she scored in every game of the competition, ended as Six Nations’ top try scorer and now has 20 tries in her seven caps.

England Women in the 2019 Six Nations

Ireland 7-51 England

England 41-26 France

Wales 12-51 England

England 55-0 Italy

England 80-0 Scotland

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Talented 18-year-old joins Harlequins Academy

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While most 18-year-olds will be enjoying a well-earned rest over the summer holidays, Christ’s Hospital pupil Lennox Anyanwu will instead be training hard, following the exciting announcement that he is joining Harlequins Academy ahead of the new 2019-20 season.

Lennox, who has been part of Harlequins’ Elite Player Development Group (EPDG), will now be part of the club on a full-time basis, based at Surrey Sports Park.

Lennox was selected to play for England at Under 16, Under 17 and Under 18 level. He went on tour to South Africa with the Under 18 squad, playing the likes of South Africa, France and Wales; he is one of four young players making the step up into the full time Academy. “It is the culmination of seven years of hard work. It’s not often you set a goal and see it through,” says Lennox.

“I have a lot to thank the School for. It was the former Head Coach that put my name forward for Harlequin’s Development Player Programme (DPP).”

As the first ever recipient of the Christ’s Hospital Joe Launchbury Rugby Scholarship, it is especially fitting that Lennox is following in Joe’s footsteps. Joe Launchbury, who plays rugby for Wasps and England, is also a former Christ’s Hospital pupil.

He left CH in 2009 and often finds time in his busy schedule to drop in for surprise visits to his old school to inspire and enthuse the CH rugby players.

“Having a strong network around me at Christ’s Hospital has been fantastic,” explains Lennox. “I wouldn’t have improved at the rate I did without it; the staff have played an important part of my development. From an early age, I was pushed to play a year up.

“My mum hates rugby,” he laughs. “She only watched a game for the first time a few months ago and we never talk about it at home. In a way, that’s nice as it means I can switch off!

“Since exams finished, a few of my friends have been out enjoying themselves. But I’ve been training every day. So, I’m making sacrifices now as I’m thinking about the long-term reward.”

“Lennox has worked fantastically hard to achieve his contract with Harlequins,” commented Director of Rugby at Christ’s Hospital Ian Davies. “It was not an easy task to balance academic studies with rugby commitments but he had an excellent support network through the CH/Quins partnership.

“Lennox has just started pre-season so will be working hard on his fitness and core skills, but I hope he will visit us early next term to inspire the next generation of boys and girls playing rugby at CH.”

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Green and Whites set for ‘journey into the unknown’

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Horsham all set for ‘journey into the unknown’ after learning of their London 1 South fixtures.

The league fixtures have been announced for the 2019-20 season following the club’s promotion to a division which is the highest level they have ever played.

The Green and Whites have the opportunity to rekindle an old rivalry by travelling in their first game to Chichester on September 7 – a fixture that has not been played for over 20 years. Horsham then host Beckenham, the other promoted side from London 2 South East, who did the double over the Green and Whites last season, followed by a trip to HAC (Honourable Artillery Company) based in the City of London, who have 
had a lateral transfer from London 1 North, due to promotions and relegations around them.

September is completed by Horsham hosting Cobham which is believed to be the first competitive fixture between the clubs despite being just the short journey over the border into Surrey.

Horsham vice chairman Richard Ordidge said: “We will be facing a lot of the clubs for the first time, so this is very much a journey into the unknown.

“But given the way we finished the last campaign we are optimistic about our prospects and carrying this form into the new season.”

Pre-season friendlies have been arranged against Brighton, Haywards Heath and Worthing Raiders starting on August 17.

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Pulborough under-18 girls are crowned champions of England again

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Pulborough under-18 girls have shown once again they are at the pinnacle of rugby by being crowned the champions of England.

The young team have secured the RFU U18 National Cup for the second successive season.

It is the third time in four years that the formidable Freelands outfit have won the competition; previously achieving glory in the 2015-16 season as well.

For their latest triumph they beat a strong Mansfield opponent 25-15 in a tense final held at Premiership side Worcester’s Six Ways Stadium at the start of the month.

The match was played in front of a large crowd swelled by Pulborough supporters including chairman Alan Nye.

Despite their rich history in the competition, this proved the toughest encounter.

Losing 10-5 at half-time, Pulborough had to dig deep but came back in the second half to score three tries whereas Mansfield put down just one – which meant the ‘Borough girls completed a superb turnaround to secure the win.

Head of the ladies and girls’ section at Pulborough, Keith Woodcock, said: “The entire Pulborough club family are immensely proud of the squad of some 34 girls who have trained hard all year.

“They were greeted back at their home club by a jubilant crowd who formed a guard of honour as they got off the bus, weary, but still smiling at what they had achieved 24 hours earlier.

“Having seen some of these girls since they were under-13s it is amazing how they have matured into skilled and tough rugby players, capable of displaying tremendous fighting team spirit when they were 10-0 in the first half of the final to finally win the day”.

The team is coached by John Breach, father of Red Rose player Jess Breach – herself a former Pulborough player, Kelly Russell and Keith Beckley and managed by Steve Summers.

They added: “We couldn’t be more proud of every single one of the girls, not just the 22 who contested the final on the day, but also the other 10 plus members of the under-18 squad who played their part in getting the team to the final.”

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