Title winners Portsmouth Valkyries finish league season with big match against London Welsh

Portsmouth Valkyries have had a superb season. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (030219-2)
Portsmouth Valkyries have had a superb season. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (030219-2)
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Portsmouth Valkyries round off their regular league season with a visit to London Welsh at Old Deer Park on Sunday (2.30pm).

The Valkyries have already won the Women’s National Championship south east west one. 

A total of 11 points separate the two clubs and the Valkyries will go into a Women’s Championship SW2 play-off promotion match on April 7.

Portsmouth have a strong squad to select from and will need it against Welsh who have lost only twice this season.

The home side will be keen to win, having lost their previous two games against the Valkyries. 

As always coach Mark Witcher is not taking anything for granted and expects tough opposition up at Richmond.

He said: ‘This is a fantastic end to a great season with the top two playing each other.

‘We know it will be a hard game to finish the league off.

‘Although the league has been won, there is still much to play for with places in the play-off squad up for grabs.

‘Training has been going well with large numbers, even though we have had players representing the Army and Royal Navy this week.’

Last season Welsh topped the league on points difference from Portsmouth, with both sides losing just one game to each other, but then lost their promotion play-off match.

Kick-off at Old Deer Park, Richmond is 2.30pm.  

Havant Ladies bring the curtain down on their league season with a trip to Reading Ladies.

Meanwhile, Hampshire under-15 boys start their season with a game against Berkshire at London Irish’s Hazelmere ground on Sunday (3pm).

Team manager Gareth Lewis is excited by the prospect.

He said: ‘Recently we had 200 boys from across the county attending trials at HMS Temeraire.

‘With the apparent decline in rugby participation across the nation it was a tremendous turnout.

‘We saw six hours of high quality rugby despite the appalling weather conditions.’

The under-15 coaches led by Malcolm Osborne selected a full squad of 59 boys from which 30 were selected to train at Havant RFC.

After their first game the full squad will get back together at Havant on March 31 when a further squad will be chosen to meet Surrey away on Sunday, April 14.