RUGFULLThe London Pumas have named a strong squad for their groundbreaking tour of Israel which sees them take on the women’s national side on 25 May.

The tour – which will see a visiting London side play in Israel for the first time in more than 10 ten years – has caught the imagination of the Israeli public with a large crowd expected for the 29 May morning crunch rugby 7’s match against the Israel National Team, who are using the match as their keynote preparation for the European Championships being held in June in Zagreb, Croatia.

Two Pumas players come from the 2015 English Premiership winners Saracens, while three hail from the runners-up Richmond. Ellisha Dee, the Pumas co-coach, also plays for Richmond although is currently injured and is unlikely to play in Israel.

Team manager Jon Feld said: “We’re bringing a strong touring team because, quite frankly, the Israeli team are playing fantastic international rugby at the moment. I am very grateful to several people over here including our main sponsor Antonino Brusa, my co coach Ellisha Dee and to Steven Jaffe, of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who has been very supportive in many ways. What I can also say, despite all the adverse propaganda, is that these prominent female rugby players who come from diverse ethnic backgrounds, have held firm and are looking forward to seeing the true face of Israel.”

PUMAS ISRAEL SQUAD:
Laura Kapo – Richmond
Sam McCarthy – Richmond
Jo Emslie – Richmond
Beth Pickers – Hove
Alex Grant – Hove
Rebecca de Filippo – Bristol
Sam Herrick – Bristol
Sylvia Chan – Lichfield
Alexis Bloom – Hampstead
Sian Williams – Saracens
Natasha Bullock – Saracens
Anisa Garcia – Pumas
Anja Grant – Pumas
Anna Afola – Pumas