What a feeling it is to finally be here. All the preparation and all the hard work over the last few months is done and now we are at the business end of things.
The venue is stunning, every team is here and the facilities are top notch with pitches, gym and dining hall all within walking distance of our accommodation blocks.
Arriving on Monday we got straight into things as, after a light lunch, we headed out on to the training park. Our pre-training meeting began with the words ‘you will be doing some running today ladies’. Innocuous they may seem but, when spoken by a certain Gary Parker, no one is in any doubt about what is coming. To say Gary is a fan of fitness would be a ridiculous understatement. He has done a fantastic job with us though and actually, we all found ourselves itching to get on with it to blow out the cobwebs from the flight.
The rest of Monday saw us familiarising ourselves with the routine as, with 12 teams, there is a bit of juggling to be done when it comes to meal times, gym and pitch access. All has been very smooth so far though so I'm sure there is a power of work going on behind the scenes.
Tuesday morning began with a gym session in which I managed to get myself into a group with the front row. Now, in a speed session or an endurance session this is always a good thing but when it comes to weightlifting, they really love to show you up. I did my best to lift along with them and managed to pick up some technique tips from Sarah-Louise, one of our hookers, who, if she wasn’t a rugby player would definitely be a weightlifter!
Lunchtime was followed by my favourite part of the day – compulsory rest. Yep, you’ve read that right - you have got to be off your feet! It is a chance to have a rest, take stock of what has been going on as well as run over some of the things that have been discussed and worked on in training and meetings.
Tuesday’s afternoon training was a pitch session where we looked at some attacking options specific to the Canada game. The session went really well and we even got some time to spilt, allowing us forwards to take ourselves off to the scrum machine where we were able to have a few hits – always helps to settle a few nerves!
The next couple of days took us through our preparation for our opening match against Canada which is also the game that’s opening the tournament. We are all aware just what an occasion it is. Personally, I can’t wait!