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Rosie Galligan column: Bed pans, morphine, and the rehab bandwagon

Harlequins' Rosie Galligan arrives at the ground during the Allianz Premier 15s match between Harlequins and Gloucester-Hartpury at Twickenham Stoop on January 22, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

The last week has been quite tough in all honesty, not being able to drive and being stuck with a 60-degree angle on your leg is a lot harder than you imagine. I’ve had lots of people come and visit; my mum, sister and my partner making sure I’m well fed and watered.


Tuesday was my first day out the house, one-week post-operation. I got a taxi to Surrey Sports Park to be at Harlequins and I saw my physio for the first time who cleaned my wound and ran me through the next 12 weeks of my comeback, which is exciting. I know time is a healer and now I’m back on the rehab bandwagon. I’m now able to set myself small targets with the hope to be up and moving around by the end of April.

It was good being in the gym for the first time. I’m allowed to do an upper body session and a single lower leg session on my good leg. I have also been given some glute bridges to do on both legs and I can start to use the compex (an electric machine that gets your muscles twitching), on my bad side.

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It’s a big step today as I know if I do these exercises really well now, then it’s going to help me in the weeks to come. Sometimes with rehab you can take the easy route and do the bare minimum, but I want to get back as soon as I can in the best shape.

It’s nice to be back at club, when my physio was changing my dressing I had a group of players come in to look at my scar, (I had a three C distal T-junction tear,) and team mates such as Emily Chancellor have been great with picking me up and taking me out for coffee. It was good to also catch up with others who are injured such as Jade Konkel Roberts and Sarah Bonar.

Harlequins Women have two full time physios and part-time staff so there’s a lot of well qualified hands to look after me whilst England concentrate on the Six Nations.

On the day of my operation, I went in at half six in the morning and was seen by half eight. It was a really quick two hours, got into my gown, chose my food for after surgery which was a tuna mayo and sweetcorn sandwich and packet of crisps and I demolished it when I came out!


They put me under, as soon as I woke up in the recovery area, I rang my mum to let her know I was awake. I woke up desperate for the toilet and had my first experience using a bed pan which was interesting. The nurses were shocked that I remembered her phone number! I was on double morphine and other painkillers- but I’m not in pain and have managed to wean myself off the drugs I was on within a couple of days.

England have had a great campaign so far in the Six Nations despite the long list of missing players. We had a really long season going into the World Cup and I think there’s a few different factors as to why there’s a lot of injuries but it’s part and parcel of playing elite sport.

The good thing is, England have the strength in depth to put on some quality rugby and still win games. There’s a lot of new faces and opportunity and Mids (England Head Coach Simon Middleton) knows there’s a pool of around 50 people he can chose from nowadays.

I think England took their game up another level against Italy. There was some exiting play with our back three getting on the ball and just showed how Holly Aitchison is controlling the ropes at ten and has come into her own in that position. She’s got that kicking factor and plays to the line and puts defences under different kinds of pressure that they’re not used to with other tens. We need to keep building and playing this exciting brand of rugby.


Wales have showcased what they can do now they’re a more professional set up and are looking like one of the bigger threats in the tournament. They have a big heavy forward pack and some talented players who play across the Premier 15s. Hopefully England will have a few more players back from injury and can put the game away in front of a record crowd at Cardiff Arms Park next weekend.

The RFU’s tickets sales for the final round against France at Twickenham is incredible. They are set to break the world record set at the World Cup final at Eden Park.

There are still doubters out there, but we are proving how good women’s rugby is and how good the Six Nations is, and the amount of media attention is growing and little details like being able to watch all games on the BBC are converting into ticket sales.

For the next month now, all of England Rugby’s ticketing and marketing strategy will be centred around that Twickenham game, and I can’t wait to be involved as a fan and as a team mate.


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