GWENT is set to play its part in an ambitious countrywide initiative designed to get more girls playing rugby.

The region will be home to five of the Welsh Rugby Union’s 28 ‘cluster centres’ which offer girls-only rugby from April to July.

Llanwern High School, where the venture was launched by former Wales captain Ryan Jones, now the union’s head of participation, is one of the five centres.

The others will be based at RTB Ebbw Vale, Pontypool United, Monmouth and Bedwas rugby clubs.

Each will go by a different name – Knights, Jesters, Arrows, Maidens and Chargers – and cater for teams from under-9 to under-15 age levels.

The cluster centres run alongside the 73 school-club hubs already providing an opportunity for girls to play the game.

“We sat down in the summer and planned how we wanted this to take shape,” said Gwesyn Price-Jones, women and girls development officer for the Newport Gwent Dragons region.

“We decided that local authorities would be the way forward because transport and facilities are massively important.

“None of these girls drive so their parents have to bring them, and having a centre where they can all come to is vital.

“We’re going to have five within Gwent, one within every local authority, and they’ll be known by different names so there’s no club affiliation.

“Hopefully it will increase the number of girls playing the game from seven to 15 years old.

“With these centres they are going to have a better outlet, rather than going to different clubs which pop up and then disappear.”

Newport-born ex-Wales skipper Jones added: “The new clusters will provide an outlet for the demand we’ve seen exist in Wales for organised girls’ rugby.

“Working closely with the school-club hubs, the clusters should produce a conveyor belt of talent for the senior women's game, but importantly will increase participation levels and give girls an enjoyable experience to stay involved in rugby for the long term plus help to increase fitness levels within a key age group for girls.”

Cluster rugby begins after Easter and any girls interested in playing at one of the centres should visit to register.

The same goes for any perspective coaches, referees, first aiders and general volunteers.