Alyx Bridge is struggling to contain her excitement as she prepares to become the first player to lead a Liverpool St Helens side out at Twickenham Stadium this weekend.

The Liverpool club, formed in 1857, is the oldest open rugby club in the world, and have been playing at their Moss Lane base since the two Liverpool and St Helens clubs merged in 1986 and will make the trip to English rugby’s HQ for the first time this weekend for the Women’s Junior Cup Final on Papa Johns Community Cup Finals Day.

Their 19-year-old captain Bridge still harbours dreams of representing the Red Roses and is relishing the prospect of representing her club on the grandest of stages.

She said: “We have been looking forward to this for a long time, so the only way to better it is to win this game.

“It means a lot to play at Twickenham. Not a lot of people can say they have played there, and to do it in our first ladies' season at one of the oldest rugby clubs in the world is such a privilege.

“I started about five years ago, when there were about five of us here, and it has grown so much. 

“Lifting the trophy would be insane but just leading the team out will be amazing. We have been working hard, hopefully the score will look after itself.”

Chairman Tom Jackson added: “The whole club is very excited.

“It is great to play at HQ. We have had a number of players who have played at Twickenham, but we have never had a team that has played there.

“Most of the women who will play on Sunday played in the U18 National Cup final last year and they have moved forward and effectively formed the nucleus of our women’s team. They absolutely deserve it, and it will be a great occasion.”

Their opponents at Twickenham are Bristolian side Dings Crusaders, who coincidentally will also play Liverpool St. Helens’ U18 side in this year’s edition of the U18 National Cup Final.

For captain April Callanan, this weekend’s match is more than just a final, as she looks to boost her hopes of becoming a professional rugby player by taking to the field the day after the Red Roses clash with France in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations decider.

“It’s awesome, we are all so excited and it’s a privilege to be able to follow in their footsteps and share the stadium,” she said.

“We are all very grateful - the girls deserve it massively. It has been a team effort all season and a trophy would be a cherry on the top.

“We are a new team and we’ve bonded so much this season; we love playing together and the competition has been good but we’re ready to jump up to the next level next season. 

“We have accomplished good things and our friendships have really blossomed.”

For team manager Steve Harvey, reaching this final is testament to the hard work that has gone over the years.

He said: “The final means we’ve arrived, and it shows to people that there is a pathway within the club from under-6s to adults.  

“Our aim is to give everyone who comes along the best rugby experience they can get. We are very dedicated to that and the whole section comes as a unit.

“It’s a good advertisement for the club - for me, it’s an affirmation that we’re getting it right.

“With the opportunity to play at Twickenham, the whole dynamic changed, and everyone is really up for it.”

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