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'There is genuinely no better feeling than playing at the home of English rugby'

Rosie Galligan and Marlie Packer at Twickenham Stadium. Credit: England Rugby/Rosie Galligan

The anthem last weekend will be one to remember. We saw sun, rain, and hail, and faced blistering winds singing God Save the King. Some people would be negatively affected by this, but for us, it was definitely a ‘fire up’ moment.

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I really enjoyed going back to The Hive. I enjoy playing on astroturf as I think it suits the way I play. I am seen as a ‘mobile’ second row, so being able to get around the park and play fast rugby is beneficial to my game.

What made it even better this time round was the sold-out crowd that attended the fixture. Come rain or shine, they were there singing in full force and getting behind their team. They definitely brought the drama when it came to big referee decisions…

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The game was all about adapting and that’s something that we are really good at. In training, we are given scenarios and our leaders make decisions on how to play based on these. We received two yellow cards on the weekend but we weren’t flustered by it.

We kept calm, controlled the game and followed our processes. Alongside this, we tightened up our game, altered our lineout plan and made sure to leave the breakdown to have numbers on feet in defence.

After the game, we celebrated in the changing room. We have an award called ‘Courage, Bond, Lead’ which are the Red Roses values. Holly Aitchison won the Silver Rose this week for her dominant defensive effort and for controlling the game in difficult circumstances.

We also celebrated Mo Hunt’s 70th cap. Mo has been incredible since her heartbreak of missing out on World Cup selection. She is such a bubbly, caring person and always has a smile on her face. She is a pivotal player in the squad both on and off the pitch.

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This week the highlight of camp was our Italian-themed dinner on Tuesday night. We walked into the team room which had received a ‘glow up’ and was made to look like an Italian restaurant.

We had fresh bread with balsamic vinegar and oil (a team favourite), bruschetta, croquettes and cold meats, followed by an array of pasta dishes and an ice cream machine. The fact I have described my dinner shows how much I enjoyed it. I was one happy girl going to bed last night.

It’s Murder on the Dancefloor… oh no it’s the Red Roses at Twickenham Stadium! Last year we had the Sugababes, this year we’ve levelled up and have Sophie Ellis-Bextor as the halftime act. I recently spent the afternoon at Twickenham filming the promotional videos for the announcement and have been humming the tune ever since!

I know I’ve said this before but there is genuinely no better feeling than playing at the home of English rugby, but to be able to do it in front of over 45,000 is even better.

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The way Ireland played last weekend against Wales has created a buzz in the air about our upcoming fixture. They have started to piece together some extended passages of play and have some standout individuals who have become well-known in the tournament.

One of the players who has caught our attention is Aoife Wafer who has been incredibly important in Ireland’s attack. She has the ability to carry hard in close quarters as well as break the line in wider channels. She will be one to watch this weekend.

For many of the England girls, it’s exciting to play against our old backs coach, Scott Beamand. Scott was involved in many trophies with the Red Roses over the years, so I’m sure he has taken some of the things he learnt from his success with him.

Our task is to break his structure down, see how quickly we can affect their pattern of play and put pressure on players who haven’t yet been pressured in the tournament.

If you haven’t been to a women’s game before, this is the perfect time to do it. Get behind the Red Roses and join us at Twickenham on Saturday at 14.15 where we take on Ireland in the fourth round of the Women’s Six Nations.

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