Gallery: England Deaf women’s rugby team looking for new players

Among the visitors to Woodbridge Rugby Club at the weekend were five members of England Women’s deaf rugby team.

They were invited along to take part in a number of games with the Woodbridge Amazons and a team made up of players from Southwold and Lowestoft at the club’s first women’s-only tournament, as part of the new extension celebrations.

England Deaf was formed nine years ago, although the ladies team has only been in existence for eight months and consists of players who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Anyone with degrees of hearing loss (under current IDRO regulations - average 25 decibels or more in both ears) is eligible to play under the umbrella of the EDRU (England Deaf Rugby Union) and the IDRO (International Deaf Rugby Organisation).

Secretary Lyndon James said: “We are trying to find as many deaf and as hard of hearing players to join in and we woould love to be able to have a Six Nations tournament.

“We have already got some pretty good players at our camps but our message to anyone else who wants to play is, ‘don’t wait to be asked, come and join us’.

“A lot of people think that because they are deaf or hard of hearing that they can’t play. We go round schools and other places spreading the word that they can and we will make sure there is a team for people to play for.

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“There is not a game of deaf rugby but there is rugby played by deaf people in this country and we need to make people aware of that too.”

The set-up is looking for players, both male and female, from age 15 upwards to get involved, however, players can’t represent their country until they are 17 and play in the forwards until they are 18.

“We want new players to come along, experienced and upcoming, and offer them the best training we can that will help them for the future.”

The Amazons won the final 15-a side match (and the tournament) but they awarded the trophy to the deaf squad for travelling so far (as far away as Bournemouth).

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