Gabrielle Chaplin is one of the 26 women signed to be part of Salford Red Devils inaugural women’s team. For Gabrielle this is a massive moment as she has never even played full contact rugby league until she signed with the Red Devils six weeks ago.

“After the women’s grand final, Salford had advertised they was holding opening trials for a women’s team and I went down and took part. They sent out emails after the trials to tell you if you got in or not so I was made up to be accepted.”

Due to only taking up rugby as a sport at a later age, Gabrielle has only ever played touch rugby for the Cadishead Rhinos women’s team, a recently formed team who compete against other mixed gender touch rugby team as they are the first women’s only team in the area.

“I’m hoping to play winger so moving to full contact hasn’t made a massive difference, if I was a forward it might have felt strange!”

“I’ve actually enjoyed the full contact”

Having only played touch rugby and has never had a settled position on the rugby field as you play everywhere. Gabrielle knew it was important to find a position which best suited her and gave her the best chance of the making the team.

She said: “There is 4 of us who are wingers that have been taken on, I just hope to score some tries!

“We’ve had a few meetings about how we’re going to work as a unit as many of us haven’t met before so the first 6 weeks has been about getting used to each other, our biggest goal is getting out on the pitch together”

The Red Devils first game is against the Swinton Lionesses taking place in late January at the AJ Bell stadium, this will be Gabrielle’s first full contact game of rugby league.

“[I’m] really looking forward to hopefully play my first game and with it being at the AJ Bell,” she said.

“People can come down and support us and playing Swinton makes it feel like a derby game so going over for a few tries will be nice.”

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