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FEATURE // AKUMA DRAGONS


PHOTOGRAPHY: RILEY SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY


The Akuma Dragons were formed in 2011 to offer female players based in Wales the opportunity to experience competitive 7s on the UK circuit. The venture came about when Nigel Francis and Non Evans both received invitations to the West Country 7s and rather than entering two weakened teams decided to join forces – the Akuma Dragons were born! The Dragons were very fortunate to secure


a partnership with Akuma Rugby to provide a bespoke kit for the squad. “The decision to approach Akuma was an easy one,” said Francis, “they are the only company that offers a specifically designed, female cut shirt and the exciting designs really make the team stand out


at tournaments. I was amazed at the speed the shirts were produced as well; from the day I signed off the design to the day I received the shirts was under 2 weeks. The enthusiasm that Polly Pithers brought to the project was also a key reason for choosing Akuma.” Polly added, “This is a really exciting partnership for Akuma, we’re passionate about promoting women’s rugby and it’s a fantastic opportunity to help support a team packed full of talented players. The aim over the next few years is to try and help the team grow into one of the best women’s sides on the circuit.” When asked about the shirts Rachel Taylor said, “The shirts are really comfortable and provide a really good blend of


design and durability.” The squad is made up of a core of


established Welsh internationals including Jamie Kift, Naomi Thomas, Amy Day, Rachel Taylor and Non Evans. Jamie is the highest capped player currently playing for Wales with over 85 appearances for her country, whilst Amy and Naomi bring a wealth of 7s’ experience to the squad having previously played for the Irish Vixens and Wooden Spoon. Rachel battled back from an injury that required surgery after the World Cup to regain her spot in the Welsh senior squad. However, of these players, Non is probably the best known, having scored more points for Wales than any other


24 / www.ukrugbysevens.com / Issue 4


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