England winger Kat Merchant brings us her latest blog as she settles back into club life after the World Cup. Her club, Worcester, are unbeaten after three rounds of the Premiership. Kat is pictured with ball in hand against Lichfield recently. Pitcture thanks to Rugby Matters
By Kat Merchant
With very little time to ponder over what could have been in the World Cup I was straight back into the club season.
Having missed pre-season because of the World Cup myself and Danielle Waterman (Nolli) felt like the new girls at Worcester. Worcester are looking good this year, with a mobile, physical pack and backline full of potential. Sadly because of injury Heather Fisher didn't start the season but we gladly welcomed new recruit and fellow England player Rochelle Clark into the pack.
For me personally I was looking forward to playing club rugby, to move on from the final and to catch up with my team mates that I've missed over that period.
And our first few games haven't disappointed either. Beating Wasps 17-5 was a great start to the season, with a tense first 20 minutes with neither side scoring, but great forwards play followed by pace in the backs lead to a three-try win. It was also so nice to play alongside Sarah Guest, Laura Keates and Sam Dale after such a long time.
Our first success was followed by a tough win over the ever physical Lichfield. We won 12-6, with a second half of 59 minutes!! It was a real test of mental strength!
We dug in deep though and scored two tries in the second half and kept Lichfield from crossing our line with some fantastic defence. We managed to build on that success at the weekend against Old Albanians with a big win so we're hoping to keep that momentum going in the next few weeks.
The Premiership is more competitive than ever before this year and the top three spots are really up for grabs.
Last years winners, Richmond, are without three world class players Claire Allan, Alice Richardson and fellow winger Fiona Pocock. Mowden have been strengthened by the relegation of Blaydon and Worcester, with a physical pack and a speedy young backline (yes Nolli we are the older ones!), are in contention for a top spot especially with coaches Donna Kennedy and Jersey keeping us in shape.
The Premiership is certainly a great playing field for younger players to develop and to come through the system.
It's been a reality shock coming back to club rugby and playing against players I've played alongside for the last few months, but it's definitely a season I'm looking forward to.