With the sun finally making a sustained appearance it finally feels like the real sevens season has begun! We seem to have been chasing the wind and rain all year so finally being able to substitute the waterproofs and thermals for the vests and trainer socks have been a welcome change.
A lot has happened very quickly since the last blog…We are now London Sevens champions and champions of the first leg of the European Series in Brive. London was again a fantastic spectacle for the game and it was great to see so many embracing the safari theme and creating an amazing atmosphere.
We had great support during the pool games over at Cardinal Vaughn pitches but yet again playing the semi-finals and final on the hallowed Twickenham turf in front of home crowd was something very special. Whether completely inebriated from the day’s drinking or not, the noise when we ran out, during the game, and when we did our lap of honor was great and we were all truly thankful for the support we received.
I think it would be fair to say we weren’t completely happy with our performances during the London competition and we were soon thrust back into competition with an opportunity to right a few wrongs. Brive was a tough tournament with four games on the first day including very strong Russian and Dutch teams. We only just overcame a rapidly improving Russian team in the group stages, winning 7-5, and then we met them again in the final.
We played some much better rugby on that second day and in the end made a much easier job of beating the Russians 30-7. With Russia featuring in our World Cup pool and the constant improvements they are making it is certainly going to make that match up a very tough game!
A couple of weeks ago I was extremely honored to have been awarded the RPA England Women’s Player of the Year award in partnership with 15 magazine. This is the first time these prestigious awards have included the women’s game and myself, Jo Watmore and Kat Merchant were nominated by our fellow peers.
A players’ player award always means more because it has been voted for by the players and friends you train and play alongside throughout the whole year. It was a fantastic evening; and I was very humbled receiving the award in front of some of the biggest names in rugby England has to offer.
We are now heading towards the business end of the Sevens season with the Rugby World Cup just weeks away. We have one more tournament before the World Cup – the second leg of the European Series in Spain – and then RWC selection. That is going to be a big day for all the England girls who have been training so hard for this opportunity!