As Women’s Sport Week 2017 begins, rugby star Jade Konkel believes she will develop on and off the field by moving to France for the 2017/18 season.
Women’s Sport Week 2017 runs from June 19 to 25 and aims to celebrate, raise awareness and increase the profile of women’s sport across the UK.
And Scotland Women’s No.8 Konkel, 23, is joining one of the top French clubs next season.
A partnership between Scottish Rugby and Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois (LMRCV) will see the 23-year-old play in the French Top 8.
She will remain a Stage 3 player in the Scottish Rugby BT Sport Academy and be available for Scotland Women’s selection.
“This is a great opportunity for me to develop on and off the pitch in a completely different environment,” she said.
“It’s going to be a massive test for me personally, but I’m really excited about spending the next year in France.
“I went out to Lille before making this decision and liked what I saw. I follow the Top 8 and have played against France Women so have a fair idea of what to expect over there.
“French players are known for their physicality and they have a philosophy of keeping the ball alive so for me, as a big ball carrier, I think the move will benefit my game.
“The BT Sport Academy has pushed me over the past two seasons and becoming the first full-time female player in Scotland last summer was a dream come true.
“I’m grateful to Scottish Rugby and Lille for working together to make this next step possible.”
Since her debut for Scotland Women in 2013, Konkel has earned 27 caps and played against France on five occasions.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) June 15, 2017
Scottish Rugby’s Head of Women’s & Girls’ Rugby Sheila Begbie said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Jade to further develop her rugby while also gaining valuable life experience in another country. She is absolutely dedicated and we will work closely with LMRCV to ensure she keeps improving.”
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