Double arrival at Barrow Ladies

Barrow Raiders Ladies have been bolstered by the signing of two new players ahead of the Christmas period. 

Utility forward Laura Mellen and 17-year-old India Jackson have both joined up with Amanda Wilkinson’s squad as preparations ramp up ahead of the 2023 Betfred Women’s Super League season. 

Mellen comes from a rugby league family and featured for the club’s reserves team last season. 

She captained the side and played in a number of positions, starting at second-row before featuring at stand-off too. 

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The 29-year-old has been training with the first team group ahead of Christmas and has impressed coaching staff with her fitness levels and technical skills.

“I love rugby and the family you gain from it,” Mellen said. “I’ve loved playing a competitive side of rugby since joining the reserves, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can achieve within the Super League team. 

“Even though the step up is huge, I’ve absolutely loved the intensity and the challenges.”

Also linking up with the squad is Jackson, who started playing rugby at the age of five. 

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She attended last year’s trials at the Raiders and performed admirably, but she was too young to play for the first team at the time.  

“It means a lot for me to be selected for the Super League side because I have such pride when I put the kit on,” she said. 

“ Playing under Amanda will be amazing because she’s an incredible coach who will help me improve my rugby ability.

“Even though I am young, I love that we can get the next generation of girls involved. Hopefully other girls my age will realise that they too can play rugby.”

On the new signings, head coach Amanda Wilkinson said: “Laura will be a good utility player for us as she has a great rugby brain.

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“She’s got a great attitude to training and has really risen to the challenge and exceeded my expectations over the last few weeks.

“India is also such a natural talent for the game, and one I’m looking forward to developing this season. 

“She still has a lot to learn but has been training with us the past few weeks and has been a pleasure to coach.”

They become the latest new recruits to join up with the Raiders Ladies, with the signings of Bethan Lloyd, Jodie Morley and Cerys Rice already confirmed in recent weeks.

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