Loughborough Lightning Re-Sign Five Internationals
Loughborough Lightning have locked in the futures of five internationals on extended deals heading into the 2023/24 season.
Emma Wassell, Jenny Maxwell, Bulou Mataitoga, Carys Williams-Morris and Chloe Rollie will be wearing African Violet shirts in an historic season for Lightning, which will see them play all of their Premiership Women’s Rugby matches at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for the first time.
Second row Emma Wassell, aged 28, joined Lightning in 2021. She made her Scotland debut in 2014 and went on to play in 54 consecutive matches for her country before a wrist injury ended that run.
Fellow Scotland international Jenny Maxwell arrived at Loughborough in 2017. The experienced scrum-half has 32 Scotland caps in 15s and many more in the 7s format.
Completing a trio of Scottish stars committing their futures to the African Violets is Chloe Rollie. The 28-year-old centre joined Lightning ahead of the 2022/23 season having already reached a half-century of caps for her country. She also has Sevens pedigree, featuring in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Fiji-born centre Bulou Mataitoga later moved to the United States for whom she has won caps in both 15s and Sevens rugby. She joined Loughborough ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Carys Williams-Morris played five times for England before being given clearance by World Rugby in 2022 to play for Wales. The 30-year-old winger, who is in her second spell with Loughborough either side of a season with Wasps, has earned eight more international caps since making the switch.
Lightning head coach Nathan Smith said: “This group of re-signings shows our intent moving forward to retain the international players that we have. I want them to positively exhibit the behaviours of a high-performing international athlete on the younger players. They positively add to our environment away from the field as well as on it."
“It’s good for the programme and for the team that we can attract this calibre of players; they want to stay and they want to be a part of the Lightning journey moving forward. I believe Lightning can continue to develop them to reach their potential.”
These five re-signings follow the news earlier this summer that Sadia Kabeya, Helena Rowland, Cath O’Donnell, Rachel Malcolm, Helen Nelson, Christine Belisle, Emma Hardy and Daisy Hibbert-Jones have all also committed their futures to Lightning for what promises to be a season full of excitement ahead.
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