It has been a hugely successful first few weeks for the Girls Rugby Development Squad sessions run by Barrow Raiders, with the help of some of their players as well as other areas of the community.

The weekly sessions have managed to attract 28 girls to sign up so far and community liaison officer Siona Hartley hopes the numbers will keep on growing.

She said: “This is something that we want to be running indefinitely. We want it to be going on at Craven Park, for girls, always, that’s the idea.”

The sessions aim to get girls involved with a sport and Hartley gave an insight to what the training includes, saying: "We’re trying to get a mixture of improving their skills and getting them to enjoy it, so doing some fun and games and getting them active is our aim, but we are also trying to take as many barriers down as we can just to get girls to come and play rugby.”

Barrow Island Ladies have had a very good season so far, making it to the semi-finals of the Challenge Shield before being knocked out by a strong York City Knights side and there are already some girls who are thinking about going to train with the club on Tuesdays.

Hartley admits that: “It’s not just about Barrow Raiders, it’s about getting that link with Barrow Island Ladies which can create this pathway for the players to go through and progress to the open age side."

Barrow Raiders players have also been supporting the sessions with the Papua New Guinean trio of Stargroth Amean, Wartovo Puara and Willie Minoga all helping out in recent weeks.

Minoga has unfortunately left the Raiders due to a knee injury ending his season, but Hartley has plenty of people in other areas who are helping out.

She said: “We’ve got Barrow Island Ladies, we’ve got local PE teachers and we’ve got someone from Dowdales School to come and support it because we’re trying to make sure that girls’ rugby in schools starts to take off a bit better as well.”

All sessions are free to attend and are held at Craven Park on Saturdays from 11:30am to 12:30pm with people from the ages of 8-16 able to take part.