Tynedale RFC is setting up a women’s team and has announced the date of its first taster session.

The session on Sunday, June 20, at Tynedale RFC Corbridge, will be followed by a glass of prosecco and a pizza picnic.

Tynedale RFC won’t be joining a competitive league just yet, however, there will be a chance for players to test themselves against other teams once the season starts.

Annie Lees, captain and manager of Tynedale ladies touch team, said: “The club is very keen to form a women’s team, and a lot of other clubs are springing up in the area since the other half of the population want to play rugby! We’ve got a really strong girls’ section at the club, and we want to give them the opportunity to continue playing once they reach 18.

“There only used to be Novos in the area but now Blaydon, Percy Park, and Ryton all have teams. We want to give women from our area a chance to play without having to travel. A lot of girls play in the Panthers but once they get to 18 there hasn’t been a team for them to carry on to. Likewise, some people go away to university and start playing, but there’s no team to come back to.

“There won’t be competitive games straight away, but there will be an option for friendly games during the coming season.”

The aim of the sessions is not only to give women a chance to play contact rugby, but also be good fun.

Annie said: “For anyone who is worried about their fitness or experience, Sunday, June 20, is absolutely the best time to come and have a go.

“There’ll be no pressure, nobody will be smashing into anyone with heavy tackles. It’ll just be lots of fun games set up by community coaches from Newcastle Falcons, before hopefully enjoying free prosecco and wood-fired pizza in the sun.”

Though Annie is excited about the sessions, she won’t be taking part herself.

She said: “I hope I don’t get tempted to pull my boots on and get an injury!”

It is expected that after the taster session, summer training will take place on Tuesday evenings, moving to Wednesday evenings once the season begins in September.

Tynedale RFC also have an adult ladies touch team which competes in the Thornton Hickey ladies touch winter league.