Meet the UCL Women’s Rugby squad set to bring home the trophy this season

Get ready: Here comes the girls

You’ve met the lads, but come on, we all know that it’ll be the women killing it on the field.

So get ready to meet the real bosses: UCL’s very own women’s rugby squad.

Isabel Buchanan – captain

Meet our amazing captain leading her team into victory against Kings. Spot her on the pitch making some great tackles, break throughs or shouting in her Yorkshire accent.

She is super strong and speedy – Kings better watch out as once she has the ball there is no stopping her.

Not only is she a talented rugby player but she’s a law student and has brains as well! She really is an all rounder and she is the best captain! She turns up to every training session and match and if she isn’t there yet, it’s probably because her bike broke down.

Seyi Adeleye – vice captain

Ṣèyí is someone who sets the other team running (running after her, that is) once she breaks through their line. This gal is a force to be reckoned with: if she’s not punching through defensive lines, she’s knocking down players, planning everyone’s lives with her excellent bullet-pointed documents, hyping us up like NO ONE else can, giving out rugby pearls of wisdom, or being our stand-in medic. You could build a house from all the bricks left on the pitch once she’s done.

Oh, and if you get your heart broken, Ṣèyí will be there to stitch it back up in her sexy scrubs.


Betsy is our honourable vice president who is quick on her feet for attack and defence. Though she is also loved for her encyclopaedic rugby knowledge and ability to uplift everyone’s spirits.

Don’t be fooled by her sweet looks as she always keeps an eye out to hunt her next prey that dares to wander into her territory. Don’t bother trying to escape unless your name is Usain Bolt.

Emmie Bowlt

Make sure to SHOVEL THE PORRIDGE DOWN YOUR THROATS and drink lattttts of water or this years welfare sec will be on you. Though she knows the best yoga poses (hello downwards dog) to chill you out, you can expect lots of shouting and big runs from Emmie – from winger to forwards, speed + strength, she’s a woman you want by your side on the pitch and in life.

But sorry lads, she’s taken x

Felicity Canning

Where to start with Flic? An experienced player of six years, even competing at county level, she is an invaluable member of the team.

From her pyrotechnic past to being a fiery team player, we would be lost without her. She may be unable to wink and sprained the same ankle twice in one season, but we won’t hold that against her. Can’t wait to see our centre smash some Kings players and score some tries!!

Marina Ghirardello

Marina is not a player to miss, largely due to her characteristic mottled blue legs and striking black eyes. Whether she’s being cartwheeled out of rucks, screeching at the forwards or growling at the opposition, she is a menace in both attack and defence (for at least the first 20 minutes of the game). Partially thanks to the aliens living in her legs and their ability to construct an extra knee mid-match, Marina has earned herself a coveted loyalty card for UCLH A&E but that doesn’t stop her from never being left out.

Watch out Kings, she’s got 25 big hits left in her *insert devil emoji*.

Lucy Blank

Lucy is our very own fly half. On the pitch, you’ll find her yelling random colours, being injured by herself (or by the captain) and scoring tries! Off the pitch, she’s using that pace to run into oncoming traffic after two pints or cycling round London on her Deliveroo bike. Don’t let the face of a first year deceive you, Lucy does in fact have the brain cells of a master’s student, despite eating glow sticks from the ground in Brighton or stripping in Scala.

That’s our number 10!

Abigail Hill

Being none other than our very own president, when Abi isn’t smashing through players on the pitch, she’s smashing through the mountain-load of rugby admin she gives herself by going above and beyond for the club (check out her radio appearance if you need reminding).

Although prone to the occasional meltdown on the tube, Abi is the life and soul of UCLWRFC, and even stood in as glitter makeup artist on tour. Her lovely Essex genes keep her youthful, despite her reminding us every 30 seconds that she is an old woman who has her own office, and she’s sure to strike fear into the heart of the Poly players this Thursday…

Madeline Klein

Maddie has kindly agreed to use the last few of her brain cells left at the end of term two to grace us with her presence at varsity. It’s been a bish bash bosh season of leaving Scala early, collarbone fracture and “bruising,” and using up all the medical tape fixing her boots (which legend says she still hasn’t replaced).

With ferocious energy and front row prowess, our Comms officer is sure to leave King’s jaws’ as open as the heel and sides of their broken boots.

Ellen Kong

Keeper of the wallet and tapemaster of the team, Ellen is an expert at putting everyone but herself back together. When she’s not busy trying to find the perfect balance between funding tours for the team and paying Chris, you can find her dreaming about a new version of rugby that requires less running.

One half of the lucky red pants club, Ellen is hoping the power of her ancestors will help bring home the win this year.

Anika Konishi

Anika is at the centre in this photo

Is that a bird or a plane? No, it’s our amazing full back Anika, zooming across the pitch with lightning bolt speed.

She may be pint-sized but don’t be fooled, she’s battled with giants and brought down people twice her size (cheeeee is that you yeah Anika??). She’s reliable, nimble and a ninja on the pitch, and don’t be surprised when you hear the screams of “YESSSS ANIKA” as she does something incredible as she always does.

Also she’s so cute.


having an intact spine

not having IBS

Most iconic moment:

tackling six people in a row (cue: “YESSSS ANIKA”)

Audrey Lam

There are three things this girl loves – dirt, matching her facemask to her clothes (because you can’t let this pandemic kill fashion), and a good ruck.

The other half of the lucky red pants club, Audrey knows that those pesky King’s players don’t stand a chance against 3,500 years of history.

Tess Massini

Tess has had a big impact on the squad in the short time she has been here, previously being in France for uni and coming to the UK for just one term.

Despite the occasional French phrases and gestures on the pitch that nearly no one will ever understand, Tess still brings quality passes, runs and tackles on the pitch. Off the pitch, Tess likes to break some moves and dance, but don’t let her elegance fool you because her aggression and determination on the field is one to be afraid of.

Ellie Pole

No one gets past this winger. She’s so fierce and talented that in her early days as a player, a 30-year-old woman had to resort to punching her in the face to stop her.

Her childhood adventures of falling into ponds means she’s ice cold stepping out onto the pitch. As an avid knitter, we’re sure she could knit you a blanket whilst you console your defeat. Because against this girl? Your chances are slim.

Sarah Raquq

Sarah is our badass front row. As a master of aikido, k-pop dancing and rugby, you don’t want to mess with her on the pitch because she has a range of moves to use. Not to mention she can squat 70kg and has been sat on by our opponents more times than we can count and not sustained a concussion.

Oh, she’s also doing her PhD so she she can nurse you back to health after whooping yo ass. What can we say, she’s a modern day wonder woman.

Skylar Smith

You can catch our island gal always giving the sharpest passes as our scrum half, even with her bright pink thumb cast.

She started her career five years ago and has quickly picked up 15s becoming a seasoned pro in no time. Her presence on the pitch is unmatched. But despite living five minutes from Scala, she is often MIA. Bestie is a living legend and we have no doubt she’ll be sending the Kings scrum half into next week at varsity, we’re glad to have her on our side that’s for sure.

Benita Stipp

Our fastest player on the pitch has speed, beauty and brains. Her future career as a doctor has not stopped her from getting Tom-and-Jerry-style bumps on her head.

Originally from Suffolk, she brings her farming skills to help her plough across the try line. And as an ex-swimmer, Benny will be taking a deep dive into King’s tactics.

Zainab Syed

An incredible flanker and an absolute dream to play alongside.

You’d think she’s been playing rugby for yearsss with the ability she has on the pitch, literally untouchable. Even more impressive is her attitude towards the game. She’ll keep fighting for the team until the last minute. We’ve genuinely enjoyed getting to watch her smash it up every week and consistently going from strength to strength. An absolute powerhouse!

Tilly Vander Byl

The social sec of this year’s squad never takes a break, both on and off the pitch. Having attended every single sports night (apart from when she had Covid – fair enough) she never fails to give the Scala dance floor a good show (so good that she is rarely seen at her 9am Thursday tutorials).

Despite the broken shoulder, not only does she hold a strong presence at the pub, but also on the pitch. She is an international player from Dubai – her biggest personality trait! Whether it’s competing for the ball, or competing for the fastest pint, Silly Tilly is an asset to the team.

Millie Walter

Although her headshot might not be very convincing, Millie is an exceptionally fierce player. With an early career in touch rugby in Singapore, she joined the UCL women’s rugby team this year.

Let us assure you that she is putting in some pretty hard tackles. Millie is one of those players you can definitely count on, who will shout from the edge of her wing to “shift right” (boy can you hear her) and be shocked when hearing that there are no Nando’s in France.

Iwona Zak

A nightmare off a scrum: our irreplaceable flanker, Iwona.

This Polish newbie has gone from sub to starting real quick. Known for her stellar hair braiding skills and questionable common knowledge (yes Iwona, flour is vegan), she is a force to be reckoned with. While you’ll find her putting in a 48-hour shift in the student centre, this second year psychology student still finds the time to smash it on the pitch – with eyebrows always intact.

Rumour has it no one’s seen Iwona without her eyebrows on and lived to tell the tale.

Chris Bryant – coach

The legendary Chris spends so much time with us that he’s an honorary pink ball-ed rugby girl at this point.

He has no issues illegally infiltrating the pitch mid-match to give us tips and pointers (even if that means getting beefed by the ref). He’s the heart and soul of our team and would fight any supporter who catcalls us. Even though we’ve never seen him in action due to injury, we’re sure he’s sick.

Can’t wait to see him beefing the ref and King’s supporters at varsity.

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