Bristol Ladies to face questions over substitutes
BRISTOL Ladies seconds are in hot water with the RFUW, after fielding four 'first-team players' in their match-day squad during a Championship South-West Two fixture against London Welsh Ladies in February.
Regular first-team lock Poppy Cleall, who was returning from injury, played on the wing, Siam Moore switched from scrum-half to stand-off, while Monica Lewinska was named among the replacements and came off the bench in final few minutes of the match.
Toya Chapman-Mercer was adjudged to be a Premiership-standard player, following her eight appearances from the bench. But Mercer, who usually occupies the second team hooker's position, scored a crucial try during Bristol's 15-10 victory, which sparked a furious appeal from London Welsh.
But, rather than deduct points from Bristol, the RFUW has ordered that the game be re-played.
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Bristol Ladies Grand Slam-winning winger, Kay Wilson, scored a try during UWIC Ladies' 36-5 victory over Leeds Met Carnegie in the final of the BUCS Championships at Twickenham.
Six members of Bristol Ladies will be taking to the skies on Saturday in a bid to raise funds for the club. The skydive was the brainchild club supporter Neil Hansen, who is also taking part in the fund-raising event.
The players, which include England international Marlie Packer, England Sevens star Izzy Noel-Smith, club captain Heidi Chapman-Mercer, England Under-20s' Becky Hughes, Poppy Cleall and Sally Tuson, are hoping to raise £3,500 for two new sets of playing kit.
The Bristol Ladies, who rounded off the RFUW Premiership season with two successive wins, will jump unassisted from a whopping 3,500ft above an army base in Salisbury.
"To say I'm scared of heights is an understatement," said Heidi Chapman-Mercer. "I cried and tree-hugged while trying to get around a Go Ape course, so the thought of jumping out of a plane is enough to finish me off!
"First jumps are usually completed in tandem with an instructor, but our girls are doing a solo static line jump. This is usually reserved for people who have done at least three or four sky dives previously. I'll be the first to jump out of the plane on Sunday with a smile and the Bristol Ladies team in the forefront of my mind."