CHESTER Devas put on a show in front of English rugby royalty as they beat Eccles in front of Women’s World Cup winner and former England skipper Gill Burns.

As part of England Rugby’s Play Together Stay Together scheme, Burns was in attendance for the Love Rugby festival, a thrilling celebration of women and girls’ rugby that started at 9am with an under 8s match.

The day finished with a match between the Devas and Eccles, with Chester running out 56-5 winners as winger Ella Wylie scored a remarkable four tries.

With a huge family following having shown up to support Wylie, the youngster was understandably delighted at her performance.

She said: “I’m very proud. We’ve worked really hard this season and we’ve done much better than I thought we would, if I’m honest.

“My aunties, my uncles, my cousins, my nan, my great uncle and my mum and my little sister are all here.

Chester and District Standard:

“I really enjoy it here, we have so many pitches, we get good opportunities here so I’m loving it.”

Burns is a legend of the English game, having been part of the side that won the World Cup in 1994 before going onto captain her country for five years.

She has since gone on to play an important role as an administrator and having seen the way the sport has grown, she thought this occasion had the potential to help it develop even further.

She said: “It’s been a great day. Seeing the two teams having a picture under the posts, you can see it’s been a lovely day. Even the team who have been beaten a full of smiles so it’s been really nice.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone who has been involved, from the little kids who are running around in the morning, through the age groups. They are going to have links to footage of the day which is really special. They can share it with their friends, family and beyond. I think so many people are going to be able to see it that it will help to grow the game. Let’s hope it is a boost for everybody.”

For Chester, it was an outstanding performance from start to finish, with assistant coach Chris Quince Black joking that it was the presence of the RFU cameras that made the difference.

She said: “I’m really delighted, it was such a good game and the girls really enjoyed playing as well. It was an epic day.

“This is a massive opportunity, it gives us a taster of what women’s rugby should be moving towards. From grassroots up, this shows our young people that this is what we have to look forward to when they go from the girls section to the women’s.

“The game plan never works that well usually but it came out well this time. I told Ian Morris, our coach, that we’re going to have to tell the team that there are cameras here every week.”

Play Together Stay Together is an England Rugby campaign to encourage people to get back into rugby. Want to get back to the action? Find your local rugby club using