So, here I am in the midst of a squad weekend writing my first blog.
Not only is this a surprise, as considering I was up at 4.30am to fly down from Scotland, maybe I should be curled up in a corner sleeping! But, being (and I' m very honest about this) not the most up with the times when it comes to modern technology and web-surfing I still dont fully understand what Tweeting is and am continually having lessons on navigating my way round Facebook... so now at least I can say I am entering cyberspace! Yes!
Anyway, onto what most want to know about the rugby. It is now 10 months away from what is the biggest competition in rugby, the World Cup. A year ago we didnt even know if we would qualify.
In that respect last season was a huge year for us. Not only did we beat England for the first time and followed that with winning the Triple Crown (again a first) but most importantly we qualified for the World Cup.
Having been part of the squad that didnt qualify for the last one four years ago (that was probably one of the most gut wrenching, heartbreaking feelings I have ever had in rugby), as a squad we were determined that not qualifying was not an option Thankfully we qualified automatically through coming second in the Six Nations.
Most people outside of the squad say, that last season must be remembered for beating England, and yes, having not beaten the old Enemy on any previous occasion, it was certainly a highlight we celebrated in style; Watching the men's game from our own box in the Millennium Stadium, drinking....cups of tea...Crazy I know! It kept our squad tea club very happy!
However for most of the players it was a year remembered for lost opportunity; the season was marred by the fact that having beaten England, we failed to capitalise, losing away to France. With that, our chances of winning the 6 Nations outright had disappeared.
Just to make matters worse for me, on the day against the French, I missed my brothers wedding. Not only did I end up flying back without showering to try and get there for the evening, a road diversion meant I actually arrived at the wedding as everyone was leaving and dress in our gold kit. Looking like a grumpy, muddy, battered canary, upstaging the bride was never going to happen!
It has taken a long time to get over that, but now as we move forward to this season as a squad we have high expectations set upon us to try to emulate last seasons achievements and go that step further. The main nucleus of the squad is the same, a key facet for us, maintaining that experience and knowledge with in the squad, but also having new, young, exciting players stepping up.
One of those is Elinnor Snowsil, who captained the U20s last season and has already made a huge impression in our training camps. Last year also saw us fully integrated with the men in the WRU,having the same kit deal, the Under Armour kit was fantastic on the field and, importantly for us, it was specifically made for a womens fit- not that we are all about the appearance on the field- but having oversized kit does nothing for our figures!!
We have also been fortunate to utilise the new National Centre of Excellence. Having access to both an indoor facility and the new 4G pitch of such high quality means that we have been provided with every opportunity to achieve this season.
Well, that wasn't too hard, hopefully I should be able to navigate my way back for my next blog...But for now, training beckons!