Hadleigh-raised former Sudbury Rugby Club star Connie Powell relishing atmosphere as England Women look to extend winning Six Nations start against Wales
Hadleigh rugby star Connie Powell reckons the rugby-loving Kingsholm crowd can ‘roar’ England to derby day victory in this afternoon's seismic TikTok Women’s Six Nations showdown with Wales (4.45pm), writes Will Jennings.
Both sides enter the Round 3 contest unbeaten after the Red Roses racked up 74 points against Italy and Wales edged past Scotland 24-19 last weekend.
Simon Middleton’s side have sizzled in Edinburgh and Parma – extending their winning streak to 20 matches – but will now bid to continue the momentum when they take on Wales and Ireland in Gloucester and Leicester.
Hooker Powell, who used to play for Sudbury Rugby Club, now stars for Gloucester-Hartpury and is relishing the prospect of a passionate West Country crowd – which has already sold over 11,000 tickets – on home soil. She made a try-scoring debut for the senior side in November.
Powell, who attended Hadleigh High School before moving to the West Country to pursue a rugby career, said: “England v Wales is always going to be a big game but to play that at Kingsholm, especially with the Wales border being so close, means the atmosphere will just be electric.
“I love Gloucester as a city – it lives and breathes rugby and is the perfect place for me to be.
“I think the history of Kingsholm makes the stadium (so special) – the men absolutely live and breathe it and if you go on a Friday night, the atmosphere is just unreal.
“I think the Shed (stand) speaks for itself – if you speak to anyone about the men’s Premiership and playing at Kingsholm, the Shed is what makes the ground roar.
“To play at Kingsholm is the most amazing experience and it’s great to have that opportunity – 11,000 tickets have already been sold but if that gets to a full stadium, it will just be a dream come true to play at my home crowd in in front of that many people.”
England breezed past Scotland 57-5 in Round 1 before an even more dominant 74-0 triumph over Italy cemented their superiority as the TikTok Women’s Six Nations team to beat.
Rivals France are also two from two while Wales, who have never won the Championship, have emerged as a dark horse after hard-fought wins against Ireland and Scotland see them arrive in Gloucester unbeaten.
Powell, who came on as a second-half replacement in Sunday’s emphatic victory, added: “The camp’s feeling really good at the moment.
“We know Wales have got a few threats – a lot of the girls play against them week in week out in club rugby, and everybody is really excited.
“They’ve got their driving maul that we’ve identified as one of their threats.
“Both teams going in two from two is really exciting, so it should be a really good game.”
*The Red Roses take on Wales in the third round of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations at Kingsholm, Gloucester today, kick-off 4.45pm. With over 11,000 tickets sold for this weekend’s game, the attendance record will be broken for a non-World Cup Red Roses home match. There’s still time to secure your seat, limited tickets are available here.