A lot has happened in the last month or so…the Six Nations has begun and is now in full flow, the international Sevens series continues to travel around the world with the latest leg being fiercely contested and the first, very brief, glimpses of spring have reared their slightly warmer heads.
It seems such a long time ago now but at the end of January the England Sevens team travelled to Houston on the second leg of the IRB women’s Sevens circuit. We were all excited to be leaving the snow covered lands of England for slightly warmer climes; and we weren’t disappointed. One of the great things about sevens is that all the teams stay in the same hotel, we train at the same venues and share the same dining facilities, so not only can you keep an eye on what you’re competition is up to you can begin to get know each other too. Although sharing a floor and several buses with the Japanese proved slightly less social with the rather large language barrier proving an issue!
Houston was the first big real test for us as a relatively newly selected squad. Having trained a lot together it was great to get out there and pit ourselves against the best in the world. Having played both the Netherlands and New Zealand twice in two days in both the group and the quarter and semi-finals respectively we met hosts America in the final.
Sevens has a cruel way of continuing to punish you, not only is the tournament over in two days but your reward for reaching the final is to play 10minute halves rather than the normal 7minutes. We beat America in the final 29-12 with a hat-trick for Jo Watmore. It looked like she could have kept running all day but fresh from her rest on the first day it was good to see her pulling her weight!
The first three rounds of the Six Nations have now been and gone and the table for both the men and women is beginning to take shape. It has been a mixed bag for the England women, who started promisingly with an impressive win over Scotland.
Since then they have suffered defeats to both Ireland and France, two nations that have been knocking at the door for a while now. For Ireland especially this year’s competition looks set to be their year, but with France winning at the weekend it has set up the Ireland France clash nicely!
The English girls, I know, will bounce back and really show what they’re about for the final two games. All the talk has been about which players aren’t playing for England, but for us and that team it’s about who is, how they now react and for them to just go out and prove in these last two performances what playing for England is all about!
Women’s Six Nations
March 9, 2013, England v Italy, KO 1pm, Esher RFC, Live on RFU.com
Tickets available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk
March 17, 2013, Wales v England, KO 230pm, Aberavon RFC
Picture credit: IRB