England star Helena Rowland encouraging young girls to join a Love Rugby camp

Helena Rowland regards her early rugby experiences as some of the best days in her life and is encouraging young girls to take up the sport through Love Rugby camps.

Rowland, who has won 29 caps for England, began playing at the age of six when following her brother to Aylesbury Rugby Club and from there a deep love for the game was born.

Rowland was initially forced to play in mixed teams due to the lack of girls-only sides which is why she believes Love Rugby camps have a big role to play in promoting and supporting girls’ rugby.

The Love Rugby campaign is designed to help clubs show the passion, energy and fun that girls experience when playing rugby with their friends and the camps are taking place across the country throughout the summer.

“Running around and letting off a bit of energy is never a bad thing when you’re young,” said Rowland.

“The team aspect of rugby is great too because you’re turning up and playing matches and you’ve all got to work together and utilise your different strengths.

“Working out how to be a team and how to get the best from each other is a really useful learning exercise.

“Ultimately, you’re making friends along the way and some of those will be friends for life, so it’s big in terms of on the field but also everything else that comes with it and those lessons you take with you as you grow up.”

There will be 250 Love Rugby camps taking place around the country throughout May, with an additional four weekly sessions of rugby taking place later in the summer. Girls, or their parents and guardians, can find out more at or their local club’s website.

And Rowland is envious of the girls who will attend and gain from the physical and mental benefits the sport offers. 

“I had to travel over an hour to the nearest girls’ team to find 13 other players that wanted to play rugby,” recalled Rowland.

“These camps bring like-minded people together and show that you’re not a one off and that there’s loads of people who want to do it find their route in the game.

“That’s massive and Love Rugby camps will only get more people involved in the game and help boost local clubs.”

Current Red Roses stars Emily Scarratt, Alex Matthews and Emma Sing will be attending camps throughout May.

Several of the Six Nations winning squad only took up rugby at secondary school or even when studying at university, which Rowland believes shows that it’s never too late to give the sport a try.

“One of the brilliant things about women’s and girls’ rugby is that you can pick it up at any time,” she added.

“There’s a number of girls in the Red Roses team who didn’t pick it up until university and then there’s someone like me who started when I was six.

“So, there’s a massive diversity from that point of view. Teams are always really welcoming to new players, it doesn’t matter how good you are, they want more and more people to be involved.

“That’s why people progress so quickly because they love it and feel really part of something, so there will always be a team for you.”

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