The women's team walk out on Twickenham for a historic first appearance. Credit Alligin Photography Date 30042022.jpg
The Army women's team made history this year when they competed at Twickenham Stadium against the Navy for the first time. (Picture: Alligin Photography)
Rugby Union

Army women's rugby union appoints new head coach

Former Wasps player Warrant Officer Class 2 Sarah Mitchelson has been appointed as the new head coach.

The women's team walk out on Twickenham for a historic first appearance. Credit Alligin Photography Date 30042022.jpg
The Army women's team made history this year when they competed at Twickenham Stadium against the Navy for the first time. (Picture: Alligin Photography)

The Army Rugby Union has announced a new head coach for its senior women's team.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Sarah Mitchelson takes over from Major Gemma Stonebridge-Smith who stepped down after the 2022 Inter Services to focus on her Army career and family.

WO2 Mitchelson, who serves in the Royal Logistic Corps, had a stellar playing career which included more than 200 caps for Wasps, 34 caps for the Army and 15 for the UK Armed Forces.

She captained both military squads for several seasons and has also been an assistant coach for both sides.

Speaking to the Army Rugby Union, WO2 Mitchelson said: “It is an honour to take up the position as head coach.

“I am looking forward to carrying on from the success from last year and continue to build on all the tremendous work Gemma did over the last few seasons.

“It’s not a decision I have taken lightly, as I wanted to make sure I could give the role the diligence the squad deserve.

“However, I couldn’t be happier to have progressed, and I now have the opportunity to give back everything Army Rugby has given me."

Director of Women’s Rugby, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Maxwell, said: "Sarah was an outstanding candidate for to be head coach, and I'm delighted to be appointing her into the role.

“Sarah’s experience playing and coaching at the top level of the game, combined with her personal coaching philosophy and understanding of the Army Women’s culture, made her the right choice. I have every confidence that she will make an outstanding head coach.”