Mo Hunt pays tribute to the AASE programme and player pathway at Hartpury
Gloucester-Hartpury Women's News
15 November 2019
Taking time out from preparing for England’s international fixture against France this weekend, Gloucester-Hartpury scrum-half Mo Hunt spoke about how young players are coming through the player pathway established at Hartpury and the work put in by Susie Appleby in particular.
Speaking to Talking Rugby Union, Hunt, who will win her 49th international cap if she takes the field as a replacement at Sandy Park, has been incredibly impressed with what she’s experienced since she joined Gloucester-Hartpury just over a year ago.
“The programme there is great. They obviously have the AASE programme there and a few of the England girls are part of the coaching team. And that is really important for me to be able to try and influence players who have aspirations to go on and represent their respective countries.
“To be able to play an integral part in that with their mindsets and help them through is huge and I absolutely love that role. Susie [Appleby] has worked tirelessly. She has been fantastic for the programme and has been an absolute beacon in terms of getting everything set up, making sure we are moving in the right direction and equally, getting the right people in the right places to drive that programme forward.
“We are going to be sad to see her go, but we wish her all the best in Exeter because I am sure she will do wonders for the programme down there.”
The Gloucester-Hartpury team relies in particular on developing its own young talent, and Mo is quick to identify a couple of up and coming young prospects.
“At Gloucester-Hartpury, I was lucky enough to coach a couple of girls, Charlie-Mai Manns and Mia Venner, in the AASE programme last year and this year they are 17 which means they can play for us so they have represented our first team.
“They have done really well and held their own considering they are playing above their years. They shouldn’t be holding their own in a league which is as strong as the Tyrrells Premier 15s, but it is only going to push them forward and make them better players.
“Equally, when they drop back down and start training with the AASE girls in that programme, they are making their teammates better players as well.
“They are just two as an example. We have had players before who have done it and I am sure there will be players to come as well, but that link across the club has been fantastic. It just drives the youngsters to be better and they see the aspirations of the England girls or the players representing their country which helps them learn the mentality and what it takes to be a professional rugby player.
“Equally, it gives them an opportunity to play alongside these players but also ask questions. I don’t know what it is like at other clubs, but at Gloucester-Hartpury, we are really tight as a unit. The girls are quality and I love playing, training and going on tour with them! They are a really good craic so to have that fluidity across, it just makes a massive difference and you are seeing it come to fruition with these younger players who are showing no fear.
“Mia Venner scored a hat-trick on debut against Worcester so to see her coming up against someone like Lydia Thompson, is fantastic.”