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'My thumb is finally free! It’s been a long seven weeks'

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: Rosie Galligan of England takes a selfie with members of the crowd at full-time following the team's victory in the Guinness Women's Six Nations 2024 match between England and Wales at Ashton Gate on March 30, 2024 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

My thumb is finally free! It’s been a long seven weeks but I am no longer in a permanent cast or splint. Last week I went up to Manchester to get the wires taken out of my thumb which is a massive step in the right direction.

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Until now I’ve been limited in the amount of rehab I’ve been able to do, but I’ve been doing a lot of running. I’ve been working with the England strength and conditioning staff to make sure that I am in a really good position in terms of going into pre-season as fit as I can be. There is a lot of hard graft that has been going on in a running capacity, but I’m excited to be able to start actually rehabbing my thumb from this week onwards.

While I’m out with my thumb injury at present it’s important to stay involved with the team. During the week I do a lot of my rehab but I also then help out with the forwards element of the training sessions.

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Abbie Ward: Bump in the Road | trailer

Bump in the Road explores the challenges faced by professional female athletes and all working mothers, featuring England lock, Abbie Ward. Watch the full documentary on RugbyPass TV

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This involves helping with lineouts, analysis, and giving a slightly different perspective from our coach Mo [Mouritz Botha]. I am currently in the final stages of completing my level three coaching course so being able to bring some of the skills that I’ve learnt from that into Saracens and using it to help the girls develop has been really interesting.

As a player, I can get a feel for what the girls are thinking about certain things and I can feed back key information to the coaching staff on how to get the best out of the girls in these last few weeks.

When it comes to game day, I try and get involved in some media work as it is something that I really enjoy doing. I made my TNT Sports debut when Saracens took on reigning champions Gloucester-Hartpury.

It was headed up by Laura-Jane Jones with Red Roses defence coach Sarah Hunter as a guest, who then made her way over to commentary with Nick Heath. Being able to give a player voice on coverage is a unique experience and helps viewers understand the game from a different perspective.

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The result against Gloucester-Hartpury was massive for us. We had a really good training week that week and we knew how important the fixture was for us. We didn’t want to leave it until the final week of the season to secure a home semi-final.

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On the day, it wasn’t always pretty rugby and it was very even at points, but it came down to a missed kick which meant that we were two points ahead. The pressure was on in the last ten minutes. Massive kudos to our front three who turned over Gloucester’s final scrum.

Our last game of the season took us to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens to play against Loughborough Lightning who have continued to develop throughout the year. They caused a lot of disruption to the Saracens defence with Emily Scarratt’s long passes releasing the speedsters in the wider channels.

The second half Saracens found their momentum and started utilising their forwards better. There were a few key players missing in the likes of Marlie Packer, Lotte Clapp, Jess Breach and Poppy Cleall but the depth in the squad meant that Saracens still came away with a bonus point win and finished the season on a high.

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As the league games come to a close, we now approach knockout rugby – the best bit of the season where you only have one chance to get the win. Watch this space for an exclusive insight into the two semi-finals where Gloucester-Hartpury take on Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm and Saracens take on Bristol Bears at Stone X.

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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