What an absolute ripper of a year! Winning the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series title, a silver at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze at Rugby World Cup Sevens.

The year started with a bang, doing the double with both the men and women winning the Sydney Sevens on home soil, a moment I will never forget and one which saw us create history by not conceding a single point in winning the title.

The season went on with some ups and downs and plenty of learning opportunities for us both as a team and as individuals. We all know that in sevens anything can happen and there were multiple games where we won or lost in the dying seconds, sometimes even after the final siren.

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We had a coach change in the middle of the season with John Manenti taking over from Tim Walsh and saw some development players take the world stage, showing everyone that they’re ready to step up and challenge the contracted players.

This year I also sustained my first injury which was super tough for me to have to watch the girls from the stands at the World Cup. In saying this I was fortunate enough to have been able to travel to San Francisco so that I could watch from the stands.

The right direction

Our year culminated in Dubai which, once again, was absolutely incredible. Lily Dick and Sariah Paki made their debut and absolutely killed it! I was beaming with pride running out onto the field in the Australian jersey alongside both of them.

We finished third after a pretty rough day one. Fun fact, in Colorado we lost one game and finished fifth and in Dubai we lost three games and finished third … I find that pretty crazy!

We are still not where we want to be yet, but we are certainly headed in the right direction. A fifth in Colorado and third in Dubai, so come Sydney we will again place two places better and take out the gold! We are working super hard to make that a reality.

I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself, though, because we still have plenty of training to do before we take the world stage again. Our last week of training as a team was tough but everyone’s spirits were high knowing that “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. We had a Christmas dress up training with a John Manenti Christmas special which finished the year off on a fun festive note.

We have now been given a little over two weeks away from our training facility to celebrate Christmas with our friends and families. This means a lot to all of us as there are very few girls who are actually from Sydney where we are based, so to be able to go back and see our families is very special.

No rest at Christmas

But this doesn’t mean we aren’t training on our own. If anyone has ever been training for something or working towards a fitness goal you would know how important it is to keep your training regime going, not only to maintain your fitness but also to prevent injuries when you return.

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Luckily for me I have a little brother that trains with me when I go home so I’m not on my own. He usually throws a couple of tantrums about doing it and I generally end up bribing him with something, but he eventually does it and whips my butt.

Doing the conditioning without my team really does make me appreciate the conditioning sessions that I do with them. For me, when I am training on my own I find the sessions so much harder!

Our diet is another thing that doesn’t rest over our Christmas break. I’m not saying that we aren’t allowed to have any yummy Christmas treats, we just have to – as everyone always says – “have it in moderation”. Our dietitian has given us each a plan for the Christmas period and weight/skin fold targets that we need to aim towards for Sydney Sevens.

The hot tip was to remember that Christmas is one day not the whole two weeks. I am one of the ones that needs to be reminded of this daily … I have a massive sweet tooth. Having Christmas in summer and on the beach really isn’t ideal for anyone wanting a “beach babe bod”!

Jokes aside, I know the motivation of our whole team to be better and retain the cup at Sydney Sevens is running high. So, while we’ll all enjoy the time away with our families and friends we will all be working our butts off to keep fit.

“2018: Thanks for the lessons. Thanks for the challenges. Thanks for the growth. 2019: We’re ready”