In the second installment of our new web column for the 2016/17 season, Scotland Women’s cap Emma Wassell writes for us as the international action moves closer:

Everyone in the Scotland Women set-up has started the season with a bang for their clubs, in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy and in the training camps that we have had.

We all know that it is such a big season starting with the Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifiers in November followed by the Women’s Six Nations and we are all striving hard to be as fit as we have ever been.

On a personal note I also want to make sure that I am in the starting XV when the internationals come round and for me a lot has been happening in the last few months.

After the Six Nations earlier this year, I had a busy time finishing my accountancy and finance degree at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

I managed to secure a job back up in Aberdeen after graduation near where my parents live and so I have since relocated to Ellon.

It was sad to say goodbye to all of the friends I have made in Edinburgh over the last few years, but I am still playing for Murrayfield Wanderers in the BT Women’s Premier League so I will still be seeing the girls most weekends for the matches.

Obviously I cannot commute to training twice a week, so I have been training with the men’s Aberdeenshire team.

Their Coach Kevin Wyness was keen for me to come along and although it was a bit daunting at first being the only girl, I knew I needed to get involved and train to a high standard.

I do fitness and skills with the guys and then when they are doing contact I work on my own programme.

It is great to be around a team environment and get the banter from the guys after a day a work, so it is working out really well and helping me push myself. As a second-row, working with Kevin on my scrummaging has also really helped.

As well as that training I am delighted to be a member of the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy again this year.

Last season I was in the Edinburgh Academy based at Napier University and now I am based out of the Aberdeen Sports Village.

The facilities there are brilliant and the staff have been great in liaising with the Scotland Women coaching team and my employers to make sure that my time is managed and used effectively.

As I am now working full-time it has meant some early starts for me followed by gym sessions in the evening, but I am now into a routine and I am determined to balance everything and make it work.

For all of the girls in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy structure the opportunity has been a brilliant one and I think it has made us really focused.

Emma Wassell

Along with the other members of the Scotland squad we were lucky to test out the new facilities at Oriam at Heriot-Watt University’s Riccarton campus recently.

We were all amazed by what was there, the facilities really are top class and it is great to have such a good pitch indoors especially with winter around the corner.

It means we can work on game specific things such as lineouts and scrums and that is key when we only have a few days together every few weeks.

During that camp  Head Coach Shade Munro worked us hard and made it clear what he is looking for from us in the next few months.

As I mentioned earlier, we have the Women’s Rugby World Cup qualifiers coming up in November, with our opponents to be confirmed, but the group are all determined to make it to Ireland next year.

We know that the standard in women’s rugby across the board is growing rapidly and we have to keep up the hard work.

SCRUM 86 is now online, click here to have a read

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