Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

'Letting people understand you as a person as well as a player is fundamental to our success'

Credit: WiredPhotos

Walking through the doors into England camp fills you with all sorts of emotions. On one end of the spectrum, it’s the excitement to see friends from different clubs, catch up and play some incredible rugby. On the other end it’s that pit of nerves for the grueling sessions ahead (including fitness testing!), it’s that imposter syndrome of ‘Am I really one of the best players in England to be in this room?’ But for sure, the excitement outweighs the nerves.

ADVERTISEMENT

Our most recent camp had a lot of new younger faces which was refreshing. We had the likes of Steph Else and Millie Hyett from Gloucester-Hartpury who put in a shift, as well as Ella Cromack, the young Harlequins fly-half who was incredibly attentive and knew her detail.

It was really impressive to see and they definitely gained the respect of the group. It was also amazing to see Ellena Perry back in camp.

What a journey she has had. I played with Elle at divisional and England U20s level. She was a workhorse and could dominate both in attack and defence.

She’s been through a bit of a ride with rugby; a few head knocks and injuries, a few disappointing selection calls when involved in the EPS setup, but I am so glad that she is back on the pitch and could potentially pull on a white shirt in the 2024 Six Nations, with her little boy by her side.

Off-the-pitch experiences are just as important as on-pitch memories. Being able to share your story and let people understand you as a person as well as a player is fundamental to our success. One highlight for me from camp is that I’m going to be able to tick something off my bucket list… Steph Else lives on a farm in Yorkshire and she has dairy cows – I’m finally going to be able to milk a cow!

We are back at our clubs now, but the season is flying by and before we know it we will be on a plane to Italy, preparing for our first Six Nations fixture.

ADVERTISEMENT

I am really excited for the second game against Wales at Ashton Gate. The location for this match is perfect as there will be many Welsh fans who make the drive across the bridge to show their support for the Welsh Women. The atmosphere, as like any England v Wales game will be incredible. A day full of passion, great ruby and bitter rivalries.

The game against Ireland on 20th April will hopefully be another history-maker. No, not because it’s my mum’s birthday (I couldn’t possibly not mention it!) but because we are back at HQ for the second year running in a standalone Six Nations game. As always we are wanting to keep moving forward and pushing boundaries, so I’m excited to see what attendance we can reach this year – one year out from a World Cup.

Related

The Dual between Saracens and Harlequins was a massive occasion. The media team at Saracens did really well to promote it and make it really visible for people to get involved in the hype. We did a bit of a promo video of a confession booth and that went down really well. I think it put a bit of pressure on us because there was a bit of hype around it so we had to go out and perform.

There were some really positive bits of rugby, and there were also some parts where we probably didn’t execute. It’s now just a case of learning from Harlequins and taking it forward to the Super PWR weekend that’s coming up for us against Leicester Tigers and righting some wrongs again like we try and do every week.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Super PWR weekend coming up will also be massive. Like anything, the only way you can get involved is if you can see it. There has definitely been a lot of promotion around it already. I hope it’s a weekend that can showcase what women’s rugby is about again and it’s another stepping stone in the right direction to try and make rugby a sport that’s ever-evolving, and getting us in a good place for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025.

Hopefully it will also help with the PWR’s ten-year plan of trying to make the league professional. It’s a really good starting platform for us and it showcases that there are a lot of stakeholders trying to get involved and make the sport a better place to be.

Looking ahead to our next game, Leicester Tigers have come on massively. You can see that from the last few results that they’ve had, they’ll definitely be feeling good in that sense. We saw the news about them having five points deducted because of the EQP requirements, but aside from that they’re starting to put a really good team together.

It’s exciting that they are being able to do that as a new team next year. They’ll be coming to the StoneX, they’ve got some key playmakers that I actually think will really thrive on an artificial pitch as well. It will be a game that will be completely different to when we played them at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in the first half of the season.

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

Chasing The Sun | Series 1 Episode 1

Fresh Starts | Episode 2 | Sam Whitelock

Royal Navy Men v Royal Air Force Men | Full Match Replay

Royal Navy Women v Royal Air Force Women | Full Match Replay

Abbie Ward: A Bump in the Road

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 9

James Cook | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

New Zealand victorious in TENSE final | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Men's Highlights

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

FEATURE
FEATURE Bryan Habana: 'Sevens already had its watershed moment when it became an Olympic sport' Bryan Habana: 'Sevens already had its watershed moment when it became an Olympic sport'
Search