Susie Appleby has added a legend of the game to the Gloucester-Hartpury coaching team ahead of the forthcoming season with the appointment of Liza Burgess.

‘Bird’ as she is known throughout the world of women’s rugby, has a rugby CV in rugby that spans almost three decades.

During an illustrious playing career, Liza played in Wales’s very first international – against England in 1987 – where she led the side from the second row. Twenty years later and with 87 caps tucked safely away, she finished her career at Taffs Well on the last day of the 2007 Six Nations competition.

She played for Loughborough University, Great Britain, and Wasps before spending 10 years at Saracens where she led the side to the very first treble recorded in the women’s domestic game (the Premier league, National Cup and National 7s).

She finished her playing career at Clifton (now Bristol Ladies) before embarking upon a coaching career which included a stint as Welsh National Women’s Assistant Coach and is currently Assistant Head Teacher at Castle School in Thornbury.

She will be assisting Susie Appleby as the team prepares for the inaugural season of Women’s Super Rugby in the absence of Hartpury Women’s Coach, LJ Lewis, who is currently pregnant.

Susie confirmed her delight at bringing Liza on board:

“We are very lucky to have Bird join our coaching staff, she brings a wealth of experience from her playing days and now as a coach.

“This is a very exciting time for Gloucester-Hartpury entering the new Women’s Super Rugby competition and we can’t wait to get started.”