Former Haberdashers’ Monmouth Sixth Form student, Catherine Richards, has been actively pursuing international honours in rugby, demonstrating remarkable determination despite facing injury setbacks. The 23-year-old winger, originally from Abu Dhabi, attended our Sixth Form alongside her brother David, who is a promising back for the Dragons.
Her talents caught the attention of Wales head coach Ioan Cunningham, earning her a call-up to train with the 2023 Six Nations squad. Unfortunately, a hand fracture prevented her from participating in the championship. Despite also facing injury during a Great Britain rugby sevens outing last summer, Richards remains resilient.
While not selected for the WXV1 tournament, Richards currently stands out in the Celtic Challenge, representing Gwalia Lightning, one of the two Welsh teams in the competition. Under the watchful eyes of Cunningham and his staff, she has scored three tries in two games.
Reflecting on the Celtic Challenge, which features two teams each from Wales, Scotland and Ireland, Richards views it as an incredible opportunity for emerging players. Having participated in its inaugural year in 2023, she notes that this year represents another significant step forward.
In recent matches, Richards showcased her skills, scoring twice in the Welsh derby against Brython Thunder and contributing to Gwalia’s convincing victory over Glasgow Warriors. She emphasises the need for the team to maintain its momentum, uphold an exciting and expansive style of play, and continue building trust in the coaching provided by Catrina Nicholas-McLaughlin.
Expressing her aspirations, Richards told BBC Radio Wales that she would love to be recalled to the Six Nations, describing her previous experience as amazing and expressing a strong desire to relive it. She emphasised that wearing the red jersey is a lifelong dream.
Catherine Richards is contracted to both Gloucester-Hartpury and Cheltenham Tigers.