MORE THAN 40 players between the ages of eight and fifty came together to celebrate women's rugby at Dursley Rugby Club. 

Current players from Dursley Ladies RFC welcomed the newly formed Dursley Girls RFC to an open training session, where the girls, all aged between eight and eleven,  joined in with touch rugby, fitness drills and even got to jump in the line-out. 

Dursley Ladies RFC has been running since the 1990s, but in the last ten years has been playing in competitive leagues.

Changes nationally in 2012 brought men’s and women’s rugby under a single organisation in the Rugby Football Union, and the team is now an integral part of the rugby club. 

Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie attended the day with her children and met with Ladies Chair Katie Thomson, who recently accompanied the MP to Downing Street as part of a sporting champions reception. 

Back in the clubhouse, the girls were able to take part in a Q&A with the women's team and parents, supporters and coaches shared a traditional post-match buffet. 

Kath Tole, former women's chair and now a director at Dursley Rugby Club, spoke at the event, saying: "We have built this team inspired by the women who came before us all those years ago. 

"Back in 2010 when we had five players at training, I never would have believed that we'd succeed in our dream of joining the National Challenge league with a 40 player squad and now be supporting girls through their own rugby journey." 

Siobhan Baillie MP promised to attend a future training session and kept to her word by turning up the following Wednesday to train in a storm. 

Rugby training for beginners aged Year 3 and up is held every Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm at Dursley Rugby Club.

Women's training is from 7pm to 8.30pm.