Valkyries relishing England Deaf Ladies Development squad test

Portsmouth Valkyries take on England Deaf Ladies development squad on Saturday. Picture Ian Hargreaves
Portsmouth Valkyries take on England Deaf Ladies development squad on Saturday. Picture Ian Hargreaves
Jim Pearce. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Portsmouth Valkyries are relishing the chance of taking on international opposition as they host England Deaf Ladies Development squad at Rugby Camp tomorrow (2pm).

Both teams are on unbeaten streaks and an exciting contest is on the cards and will be streamed live on Facebook.

The Valkyries will approach the clash with confidence after returning from the Christmas break in fine style. They reached the quarter-finals of the RFU Womens Junior Cup after beating Chew Valley Ladies 36-22 in Somerset.

The Valkyries are top of the Womens National Championship south east west division one and are on track for a second successive promotion.

Since forming in 1998, the Rugby Camp side have gone from strength to strength.

With over 40 players in their wider squad, the club continues to welcome players of all standards and abilities, whether they have played rugby before or not.

The Valkyries are not short on ambition, however, and last season a number of their players were selected to represent Hampshire.

Meanwhile, Locks Heath Pumas are looking to bounce back after a disappointing run of results in recent weeks against Aldershot & Fleet in Hampshire two.

The Pumas led the division before the festive break but have suffered three successive defeats.

Al Palmer can’t fault his troops’ commitment, but admits they have been unable to covert their work-rate into victories.

‘We are really struggling to find our early-season form,’ the Pumas’ head coach said.

‘I cannot fault the guys for their effort but we are finding it hard to turn effort into a winning position.

‘However, this week we have a stable squad available to us and only a few injuries to overcome’.

Veteran Julian Beard comes back in at second row, with Stuart Miller moving up from the bench to the wing.

Matt John will also start on the opposite wing, showing the Pumas’ intent to add pace out in the backs.

Will Quigley and Ben Stallard have over come pre-Christmas injuries to add strength to the bench.

Locksheath Pumas: DeStefano, Stocker, Miller, Hill, Giles, John, Connell, Smith L, Price P, Wight, Beard, Streek, Floyd, Campbell, Elsmore

Replacements: Price D, Quiqley, Stallard