After a long and relaxing August off, September has certainly brought me back to reality with a bump. First league game of the season completed and two weeks into my new job, distant memories of relaxing on a beach have vanished nearly as quickly as the hard fought tan.
First league game of the season was a tough battle against fellow Midlanders Worcester. I must admit, as I think most players from both teams would also agree, this is not a fixture I look forward to. There’s always something about a derby that brings about a natural scrappiness and an evident frustration among all players. Unfortunately Worcester, who had played the better rugby match, beat us in the end with a convincing 22-34 victory. Fellow internationals Heather Fisher, Rochelle Clark, Jo Watmore, Kat Merchant, Sarah Guest and Ceri Large were all on show. Not forgetting a very loud Danielle Waterman who, although not playing, was an ever present noise in the ear all game.
A disappointing start to the season but plenty to work on moving forward into our next game against newcomers Thurrock, where we hope to reverse the disappointment of the weekend. The Monday morning feeling that I said I had missed has certainly returned, and the limited movement available makes you realise just how much you love rugby!! It was great to be back playing in the Premiership, against other internationals and friends. With all fixtures now becoming harder and harder to call the competitive nature of the Premiership really does set it apart from any other domestic competition in the world.
On another note I have now started my new job and reaching the end of my second full week as a PE assistant at King Edward Boys School, Birmingham. It’s a fantastic school, and although intimidated slightly by their astounding intelligence I am really enjoying my time here. As well as a PE Assistant I also coach the boys’ rugby in their games afternoons and have sole charge of the U13 A team! Although our first game on Saturday, after only just one training session, wasn’t the result we were after I was encouraged and pleased by their temperament and failure to give up. Turning over a four try deficit at half time to be up by two points 5 minutes from the end, I found myself encroaching further and further onto the field in excitement! A last minute try from the opposition ended hopes of a dream start to the new chapter.
It is always hard to look too far into the season with so much happening here and now but with the recent announcement of the autumn internationals against France and New Zealand it is hard not to get too excited. We are really lucky now with the opportunities and provisions that are in place for us. The first test is against France on November 3rd at Esher RFC, and then 3 tests against World champions New Zealand on 23rd at Esher RFC, 27th at Aldershot Army rugby stadium and 1st December being played after the men’s QBE International at Twickenham live on Sky Sports 1. Another huge occasion for us and it’ll be great to be back on the big stage competing in a white, newly sponsored, jersey.
Tickets for England’s Autumn International Series will be available through www.ticketmaster.co.uk on Tuesday, September 18th, at 10am, priced at £10 for adults and £5 for Under 16s. This excludes the England v New Zealand game at Twickenham on December 1st as there is free entry to the stadium.
England Women Autumn International Series:
Nov 3, 2012 - England v France - Esher RFC - KO 6pm
Nov 23, 2012 - England v New Zealand - Esher RFC - KO 730pm
Nov 27, 2012 - England v New Zealand - Aldershot Army Rugby Stadium - KO 730pm
Dec 1, 2012 - England v New Zealand - Twickenham Stadium - KO 5pm (Live on Sky Sports 1HD)