Elli Norkett tribute by Cardiff Met Uni rugby players


A university rugby team has played a match in memory of a player who died in a crash last Saturday.

Wales international Elli Norkett, 20, was involved in a two-car collision between Banwen and Glynneath.

She was in the final year of a sport development degree course at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Her university side were up against Loughborough in the quarter final of the British Universities and Colleges cup.

Speaking just before the game kicked-off at the Cardiff Arms Park, the dean of the university's Cardiff School of Sport, Prof Richard Tong, said the players were determined to take to the pitch in memory of their team mate.

"The players were absolutely sure about playing tonight - they wanted to play," he said.

"We spoke to the family and the family were very keen for the opportunity to play - everybody to express the feelings they had for Elli."

The Wales national women's rugby manager Caroline Spanton added: "We'll remember her with huge positivity.

"The energy was infectious from Elli, wherever she was with us... she'd bounce in and she'd be keen to get stuck in."

Media caption, Elli Norkett "a talented athlete with a long career in front of her"

On Thursday, Wales women's rugby players and management paid tribute to Miss Norkett, who was from Llandarcy in Neath.

Friday's match was due to take place at the university's Cyncoed campus but has been moved to Cardiff Arms Park due to adverse weather conditions.

There was a minute's applause ahead of the 19:00 GMT kick-off.

Miss Norkett's jersey was placed on the halfway line where the squad placed roses on it. Her team said the jersey will be retired for the rest of the season in her memory.

There will also be a one minute's silence ahead of Friday evening's Guinness Pro 12 match between Edinburgh and the Ospreys.

Miss Norkett had played for the region's ladies' team and was a community coach for them.

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