Skipton women's rugby player Sam Spence will soon be running out at one of the biggest and most famous stadiums in world rugby when she travels to South Africa with an England Women's Development touring team on May 26

The three-week trip will be the first for an England women's team and gives the Skipton girl - manager at George Fisher's outdoor centre in the town - a chance to stake a serious claim for a place in the World Cup squad for 2006.

England's senior squad will be on tour to Canada while the back-up tour is taking place and it is a call-off in that group which has opened a door of opportunity for Spence, who now plays for Thirsk Sharks.

"By the time the next World Cup comes around, a handful of the senior girls will have retired and this trip to South Africa is part of the on-going process of giving young players a chance to test themselves and show what they can do," says Melanie Berry, spokeswomen for the Women's RFU.

"England have won the Six Nations Championship this season and claimed a Grand Slam in the process, but we have to keep developing new players and this trip is part of that objective."

First up for Spence and the squad will be a trip to Pretoria and a game against the Blue Bulls of Northern Transvaal at their renowned LoftusVersfeld Stadium. 'Loftus' is one of the major centres of Springbok rugby and a shrine to the country's millions of rugby fanatics.

Spence and her team-mates will be playing there on May 31 before they transfer to Durban for a game against the Natal Sharks, which will be played at the University of Natal ground.

Last up is a game against a South Africa President's XV at Pongola Academy on June 16 before the team flies home.