TWO Chard RFC Ladies regulars grabbed the chance to strut their stuff on the big stage at Twickenham Stadium.

Axminster’s Zoe Winlow, 27, and 18-year-old local fly-half Natalia Roach were rewarded for their dedication to grassroots rugby with a place at the NatWest RugbyForce invitational, played at the home of England Rugby last Sunday.

The Somerset duo were coached by England legend Will Greenwood and supported from the sidelines by Red Rose royalty in George Ford and Paul Grayson.

And tasting a 20-5 victory on the hallowed turf over a side coached by World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi meant it was the perfect day for loyal servant Roach.

“It felt amazing from the first whistle,” she said.

“I was so nervous to begin with.

"I’m normally a bit of a mess before we play and with it being Twickenham is was just ramped up.

“As a fly-half, you have to organise the team, keep everyone calm and orchestrate things.

"I managed to get my head into the game pretty quickly and was pleased with my performance.

“It felt so natural playing with girls from all over the country.

"We all got on so well and that came across on the pitch.”

Prior to their Twickenham debut, players were invited to regional training sessions, where they were given elite coaching from the likes of Greenwood, Alphonsi, Grayson and Steve Borthwick.

This year has seen the introduction of the NatWest RugbyForce Invitational fixture; all registered grassroots clubs were entered into a draw for a chance to have players from their club receive exclusive access to elite rugby coaching and the opportunity to play a game at Twickenham.

Greenwood said: “Life’s about experiences and sharing something with your friends.

"You can see how happy this opportunity has made everyone here today and their enthusiasm is infectious.

“I remember my first game at Twickenham in a county final back in 1990, and the idea of running round the pitch you’ve seen hundreds of times is unbelievably special for these men and women.

“What this has done for them is truly incredible.

"This is their moment to be on the pitch, on the inside of the white lines and to do the same things that Katy Daley-Mclean or George Ford might do.

“It’s the highest peak they’re likely to summit in the game of rugby, so it’s a special day and I’ve had lots of fun being involved.”

NatWest is the Official Banking Partner of England Rugby. This year NatWest RugbyForce is making it easier for grassroots clubs to access rugby through its NatWest RugbyForce Invitational fixture, offering grassroots players the chance to play at Twickenham (@NatWest_Rugby)