As sponsors of one of the England Women Rugby League squad members, Stacey White, we’re thrilled that England’s women have reached the World Cup semi-finals despite being defeated by the Cook Islands in their final group game. Frustratingly Stacey has not yet had a chance to play and she’s shared with us how she’s keeping busy and preparing for the semi final.
“We are now into the full swing of things in terms of the tournament. Our first game against PNG saw us, slow out the blocks, but finishing with a good 36-8 win. The second game against Australia was not the result we had hoped for, suffering a 38-0 defeat. We have now got back into the cycle, and routine of things ready to face the Cook Islands. A win will hopefully secure us a place in the semi finals.
Preparation looks good. I had my first experience of cryotherapy treatment as part of our recovery process. This involved being enveloped for 1:30 secs in a fine nitrogen mist cooled to approximately -140 degrees. Chilly to say the least but very beneficial. We have also been using the gym and pool in the Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.
Spirits in camp are good with our table tennis and Strictly Come Dancing competitions in full flow during our down time. The hardest thing for me has been selection and not playing. As an elite sports person in a World Cup this is a reality. I have my role here in the team but it is still hard to swallow not having yet had the chance to step onto that field. But we are all here as part of the journey and process and I have been behind the playing members all the way. Match days have been exciting with good crowds, and lots of support from back home. I’m fortunate enough to have my family out here with me!
Another highlight of the last few days was completing a school visit with a member of the NZ women’s squad to Chifley Collage Shalvey Campus. Here the students had the chance to ask questions and listen to our personal experiences as well as get pictures and autographs. The reception from the students was fantastic and hopefully we left a lasting impression or inspired a few.
Pool game 3 saw a last minute try from the Cook Islands to snatch the victory from us in the dying seconds. We now progress through to the semi finals where we will face New Zealand.
The mood is of disappointment and frustration, but we now have a few days of repair and rebuild to get us ready for the big game on Sunday. The nature of World Cups is too get through the pool stage no matter how ugly and then perform at the knock out stages when it truly counts. And this is what we must do!
This World Cup so far has been a fantastic showcase for the women’s game and we want to put in a top performance. It was nice to see some old faces from the Australian Jillaroos squad whom I played alongside when I lived out here in Brisbane. I was addressed as ‘pommy’, my nickname, and enjoyed a few minutes to catch up. A free day tomorrow will give the squad a needed break from footy. I myself am off to visit Bondi Beach and enjoy a swim in the ocean. Then it’s back into training and preparation for what lies ahead on Sunday.”
The England semi final is on Sunday 26th November.