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Breasts, Bristol, and a broken thumb update

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Rosie Galligan of England arrives at the stadium prior to the Guinness Women's Six Nations 2024 match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on April 20, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

The other day I had Jo Currie from BBC come round to film a snippet of my ‘boob journey’ as we’re calling it. I had a breast reduction when I was 18, and over the years have started talking about it more openly. It was never a secret but I never felt the need to talk about it.

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Since speaking to other athletes and working with Boobydoo as an ambassador I have become more aware of the impact I can have on young girls and women. I’ve got nothing to hide and can confidently say having a breast reduction changed my life! If sharing my story can help some other people who might feel the way I did when I was younger, I’ll do what I can to help them.

Female health has been a bit of a taboo subject. There is so much more research going into the topic now that it is becoming more normal. I was in the fortunate position that my mum had a breast reduction when she was younger, so in that sense, she knew how I felt. For people who don’t have that support and that network around them, hopefully, I can be a figure to guide them in the right direction.

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People don’t really realise how important sports bras are. A high-impact sports bra has been measured to reduce breast movement by 70-80%. A G cup breast has been measured to bounce up to 14cm when running with a bra on so reducing that not only increases comfort but also confidence which is so important to performing well in my opinion.

Many women might not realise how beneficial it can be, and how it can change how you run and how you play. For years I ran like a T-Rex as I used my arms to anchor down my boobs as I ran! Now I run free whilst feeling good in kit.

There’s the breast health side of things, but pelvic health is also an important thing to be aware of. England are doing a lot of work at the moment looking into pelvic health for women. We want to be top athletes, but we also need to make sure that we’re protecting our reproductive organs as well so that both can work in unison with each other.

I’m really excited to go into my second year as an England contracted player. There’s been an increase in contracts and it’s great to see Liz Crake and Maddie Feaunati have been awarded their first full-time England contracts, as well as Lizzie Hanlon, Steph Else, and Mia Venner getting their first transition contracts. It’s amazing to see that the Red Roses are growing again, and it’s putting us in the best place possible going into hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025.

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It’s always great to know that you’re financially secure for another year, but as elite athletes we all want to be playing. Although my contract has been renewed and I know I’ve got a job for another year, it’s actually about how I can now use my time as a full-time athlete to make sure I’m in the best place to be in that starting shirt for England. If anything, it means you can actually focus more on your performance and getting those shirts for the big games.

My injury rehab has ramped up quite drastically since my recent operation to have the wires removed from my thumb. As soon as the cast was removed the England physio was straight into Saracens and trying to move my thumb around and getting range of movement in it straight away.

I think that was a bit of a shock to the system and I was a bit overwhelmed, but actually, the quicker you move it the quicker you can get back to normal. Although it was a very hard session which wiped me out, it’s put me in a good position this week where I can move my thumb a bit more and start doing some more rehab. It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks trying to get that movement back in, but it will all be worth it in the end.

It’s still about taking it day by day, I still can’t put any weight through it as such in terms of getting back into rugby, but I’m still around the girls and helping out. It’s about taking those small wins and being happy with the accomplishment that I bent my thumb further the next day; those are going to be my little goals at the minute.

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We’re really excited to be at StoneX for the semi-final against Bristol. When you’re in play-offs you always want to have as many home fans as you can, and being at the StoneX is where we perform best. The 4G pitch allows us to play the fast rugby that we want to, and we also know it so well.

We’re coming up against a good Bristol side, they like to play expansive, edge-to-edge rugby. They have also started utilising their kicking game through Holly Aitchison. It’s going to be a really good matchup and hopefully, it will be a good spectacle for women’s rugby.

We’d massively appreciate the support of the Saracens fans this weekend. The more fans here the better. Bring your flags, bring your drums and get yourself down to StoneX Stadium on Sunday.

The Women's Rugby World Cup 2025 is coming to England. Register now here to be the first to hear about tickets.

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