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Rosie Galligan: How can we make it acceptable to wear white and players to feel OK wearing white?

(Photo by Fiona Goodall - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Cardiff Arms Park was on fire at the weekend. A sell-out crowd, an orchestra for the anthems and two top teams going head to head.

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The occasion was huge for the Welsh players. You could tell from the off that the Welsh bring that emotional perspective and that definitely played into their hands to start with.

England needed to find their feet. They were trying to overplay and trying to do too much to begin with. Saying that, Wales played the best rugby I’ve seen them play in the first 30 minutes. They looked strong, fit and eager to showcase what they can do.

You can tell England reconvened at half-time and said ‘we need to start playing our game’ and played to their strengths. Holly Aitchison at fly-half is showing some different skills in the middle of the park and we didn’t score one try from a driving maul which just shows how the game is evolving for us. Post World Cup we spoke about playing exciting, attacking rugby and not being seen as a structured, easy to read team. We have some incredibly talented rugby players and that much is evident in the tries being scored this campaign. However, I do think that this week England will start to focus on their forwards and set piece, to make sure that they have all areas covered for the big one at HQ against France.

The score lines we’ve seen so far are due to the fact that England have had centralised contracts for a few more years. I don’t think you can expect Wales and Scotland to be competing straight away. But the gap is closing and there is some high-quality rugby out there. If you’re an onlooker seeing those scores you might not see the competition as competitive. My advice would be, don’t look at the final score line and judge it by that. Watch the game for what it is and make your own mind up about the talent out there.

We have seen a lot in the news recently about periods in sport. If a team wants to change the colour of their shorts to make them feel more comfortable, as the Irish women’s team did recently, I understand.

But for me playing in all white in an England kit, is traditional, it’s something I’m really proud to do and I know other girls are proud to wear all white as well. It’s made easier nowadays as there are so many things out there that can help ease concerns about leaking such as periods pants and black under shorts. I think management staff can ensure there are enough products and extra kit, to try to reduce the concern.

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We’ve had periods for the majority of our lives, I would ask, why has it suddenly become such a massive issue? Scaz (Emily Scarratt) said recently if you had a nosebleed during a game you wouldn’t bat an eyelid, and it’s natural, so what’s the difference if you had blood on your shorts? I think the more we speak about it and say we have to change what we’re wearing because of periods, the more negativity it creates.

It’s about breaking that stigma, ending the perception that having a period is a negative. I think it’s about asking, how can we make it acceptable to wear white and for players to feel ok to be wearing white?

As we enter Round 4 of the Six Nations, my rehab is still going really well. I’m now on to zero degrees on my leg brace today, so my leg is finally straight, and I have done a lot more gym and physio work this week.

It feels like now I’m allowed to straighten my leg and weight bare; everything feels a bit easier, rather than having a bent leg. I’m looking to be able to drive again in two weeks’ time and this week I get to go on a bike for the first time which I’m very excited about.

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Saying this, I got to the end of the day last week and was absolutely exhausted. You forget how hard rehab is, both mentally and physically, even if it is only doing calf raises!

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