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Rosie Galligan: 'We're not a starting act, nor a follow-on act, but the main show.'

BAYONNE, FRANCE - APRIL 30: Simon Middleton, Head Coach of England and Rosie Galligan of England pose with the trophy after winning the grand slam following their victory in the TikTok Women's Six Nations match between France and England at Stade Jean Dauger on April 30, 2022 in Bayonne, France. (Photo by Lionel Hahn - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images )

Four weeks post op and I am feeling the burn! My usual day consists of gym rehab with physio at 12, followed by swimming, treatment, a gym session and a bike at six.


I made the decision not to go into camp this week as I knew my body needed a bit of a rest. I have loved my ‘Camp Wednesdays’ where I get to go in and see the England players.

For the past four weeks it has been my release – seeing friends, attending meetings and most importantly, eating good food. The highlight for me has been Sarah Beckett’s guitar in the recovery corner. There’s something about music that makes you switch off and not think about anything else.

I think switching off this week has been a little tougher for the girls. Eight weeks is a long time to be in camp and to have the last game deciding your fate is never easy. But what better way to end the campaign than a Grand Slam decider, at the home of English Rugby in front of 55,000 plus people; all of whom are making their way to Twickenham for a standalone women’s game?

We’re not a starting act, nor a follow-on act, but the main show. It’s such a massive occasion for women’s rugby and women’s sport and I know how special it is for the girls. I’m obviously gutted I can’t be out on the pitch, but I’ll be their biggest fan in the stands.

Playing at Twickenham is an incredible feeling. I have played there twice for Harlequins in Big Game 12 and 13 and played for the Red Roses against the Babas back in 2019. Both were double headers and an incredible experience. I love a double header. It is a fantastic day out for rugby fans and unites the women’s and men’s sections of clubs.

However, I don’t think the women’s game now needs to rely on the men’s game and double header fixtures. It’s about getting the balance right and acknowledging that we can get a full crowd and we’re not just doing it for the sake of it.


Having the Sugababes perform at the match is something the girls are really excited about. I know there was a competition in camp in the week where the girls were split into groups and had to make their own Sugababes music video. Let’s just say, I don’t think any of them will be performing on Saturday…

There’s also a bet on from Marlie Packer to see which commentator can get the most Sugababes puns into their commentary. I’m working at Twickenham in the morning and I’ve already got my list of things I’m going to try and get in. I’ll be working for the ‘Recharged’ TikTok Women’s Six Nations programme which is new for this championship and goes through each game of the weekend and shows the atmosphere at every game.

Last week after our win against Ireland, England officially qualified for WXV tier 1 which is exciting. As a team we spoke through our calendar this year domestically and internationally and there is a lot more rugby coming up this season and next.

We have an idea what the year is looking like and when we’ll get a summer break, when we’ll be in camp and making sure we’re prepared to go into WXV 1 fit and firing and performing our best. I’m sure there will be a shift of looking towards playing WXV in the autumn after the Six Nations is over.


The end of this year’s campaign brings an end to Simon Middleton and Scott Bemand’s time in the England coaching team. It’s the end of an era. Both have been around a lot longer than I have. Mids especially has helped our team throughout the years and been a trailblazer.

He’s got the women’s game in this country to where it is and he’s leaving it in such a good place. We couldn’t have asked for any more from him. We wish him the best of luck in his next adventure and will hopefully be giving them a great send off on Saturday and a sore head on Sunday morning!

After the game we have a friends and family function at Twickenham where food will be put on for us, and a pub has been hired to celebrate. The celebrations continue for the players on Sunday, where Abbie Ward and Sarah Hunter have been planning a team social. A retiree and a heavily pregnant women planning a social, what could possibly go wrong?!

For me this Six Nations, the standout player for France has been Gabrielle Vernier in the centres. She will be someone who England are going to have to nullify to keep the French at bay. It’s an emotional battle when we face France, the games are always so close.

The English backs have made their mark in this campaign, but I think this weekend will be the first big challenge and it’ll be interesting to see how they front up against a well organised, strong French backline. As the saying goes, may the best team win.

From a personal perspective, I will be back into club on Monday to continue my rehab journey. Week 5 is a big week consisting of strength and capacity markers and starting my running block on the Alter G (anti-gravity) machine.

I’m really excited for the next few weeks ahead and challenging myself to be back on the rugby pitch before the end of the season.


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Turlough 5 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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