Sarah’s started out brilliantly in Ladies’ Rugby

Scarlets Sarah Lawrence At 18 years of age Sarah Lawrence is already catching the eye as a talented young rugby player who not only appears regularly for Haverfordwest Ladies but just a few days after her birthday played at senior level for The Scarlets against their counterparts from The Ospreys, and then shortly afterwards played again against The Dragons.

Not content with that success Sarah also played in a Welsh trial at Cardiff Arms Park for West Wales against East Wales - and even better represented the Emerging Welsh team which beat their rivals from England, starting as tight-head prop and playing for most of the 80 minutes.

Unusual start to the oval-ball game

It is doubly pleasing to write about Sarah's rugby-playing exploits because she readily admits that she wasn't a keen sports player - and only started out because in a netball games lesson at Sir Thomas Picton School her teacher, Clodagh Llewellin, felt that she was a little too rough for that non-contact game and invited her to join Haverfordwest Ladies RFC!

Under the guidance of Clodagh's husband Johnny she also played a few games in school at local festivals and took to it straight away.  Sarah is currently studying for A Levels at the Pembrokeshire College and is part of a team coached by Chris Shousha, the Fishguard & Goodwick RFC captain, and which undertook an exciting challenge when they played at the Rosslyn Park Sevens.

"There were lots of teams from the London area and we beat Clyst Vale College 27-5 in the first round before losing to Ammanford and eventual winners Weston College in the round-robin matches.

"I really enjoyed it but if I'm honest I much prefer the 15-aside games because there is so much more involvement over a longer time!"

Sarah Lawrence Full family support and encouragement from all at Haverfordwest

Sarah continued to improve as she did when she went training for the Haverfordwest Ladies, with the full support of her parents Jill and Rob - and her family involvement has been continued since her older sister Claire also plays in the front row at their Merlins Bridge ground now as loose-head prop! Another who provides a great deal of support and encouragement is Paul Thomas, who is her godparent.

When Sarah started out with the club's under 15 team she was coached by Gareth Charles and she was playing so well that she earned a trial with The Scarlets under 18s in Carmarthen. After playing 3 seasons with under 18s she was pleased to join the senior team in which Awen Prysor, Holly Couzens and Steph Harries were outstanding, with a huge step up in the pace of the game and the power needed in the scrummaging.

Sarah Lawrence in action  

Training galore as Sarah shows her commitment

If Sarah misses training at Pembroke Road it is because she is involved at The Scarlets Under 18s if they train on either Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as the Scarlets' Ladies on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"We train for two hours and it includes an hour in the gym on weights and an hour on the pitch, as well as fitting in match analysis and looking at individual stats on another night.

"It means a lot of time travelling and trying to fit things in", she added, "with a lot of the sessions held in the gym or the 4G pitch at Maes y Gwendraeth School

Sarah Lawrence in action for the Blues

Progress recognised by winning of a special Scarlets’ award

The commitment has been worthwhile because Sarah has established herself at The Scarlets and she has been a regular in the under 18 set-up, taking on not only The Ospreys and The Dragons but the Blues and RGC (North Wales) as well - and Sarah was delighted to score a try in the Super Five competition against The Blues at Pontypridd.

This season saw another honour for Sarah because at the end-of-season Scarlets' presentation following the final match it was announced that she was selected as the Scarlets' Ladies under 18 ‘Sports Person of the Year’.

"To be honest it was a really nice surprise when it was presented by Rowland Phillips and I was delighted to accept it for my hard work in training and on the field."

Sarah Lawrence part of Scarlets squad

And finally . . .

It is fair to say that Sarah shows great commitment to her training when she can make it on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Haverfordwest, where the women work hard alongside the club's men under the watchful eye of coaches Steve Barnett, Simon Lepetit and Simon Gardener.

"It is great that we are treated as equals by the coaches and players," admitted Sarah "and there is no doubt that it has massively helped our fitness and tactical awareness.

"We go as a group to watch them play matches at home and the boys also roll up to cheer us on when we are at home."

“I would love to play for Wales one day but at the moment it is great doing what I am doing,” said Sarah, “and I aim to carry on enjoying rugby at Haverfordwest and The Scarlets!”

Sarah Lawrence part of Haverfordwest RFC squad