Women’s Premier Rugby: Hilljills crowned champions

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The Hillhead/Jordanhill Women’s Rugby Team (Hilljills) secured the league title on Thursday night when Royal High defeated Murrayfield Wanderers to give Hilljills an insurmountable lead in the title race.

Unbeaten so far this season, Hilljills co-coaches Caine McIntyre and Douglas Grove admit it has been the best ever spell in the history of women’s rugby at the Hughenden club.

Women’s rugby in Scotland, especially the international team, has had a difficult season, but the club scene is thriving. Hilljills have gone from strength to strength, building not just a team but an extended squad committed to making the club the focal point of women’s rugby in the west of Scotland.

The season has been memorable, not just for sealing the title and the possibility of the double – when Hilljills face Royal High this Sunday in the Sarah Beaney Cup final – but for the international recognition of many of the players.

This year, the team has had no fewer than 11 players selected for either full international or age-grade honours.

However, this is no overnight overnight success story, but rather the result of a long-term plan to develop the team from the ground up.

Particular mention must be given to coach Lindsey Smith for her work in establishing a thriving junior section, who also gained honours when they recently won the Brewing Dolphin U15 shield competition.

Next on the agenda, the Hilljills will be hoping to capture the double next Sunday and then to focus on building the team for next season. To be successful is not enough for this group of players; they aspire to create a generation of young women who see Rugby Union as not just a sport but a lifestyle choice.

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