In the third of our new web column for the 2016/17 season, Scotland Women’s cap Lindsey Smith writes for us ahead of the sides Women’s Rugby World Cup Qualifiers against Spain this month:
There is no doubt about it, everybody in and around the Scotland Women squad is very focused and excited ahead of the two matches coming up against Spain.
We have made real progress but we know just how important it is to make it through to next year’s World Cup in Ireland.
To do so we have to try and defeat Spain over two legs and we know that will not be an easy task.
They are a good side, but the first match is at home at Scotstoun next Friday night and we are hopeful of having a big crowd there to cheer us on.
I cannot emphasise enough how much of a buzz the girls get from playing in front of a lot of people cheering them on. It gives us confidence, we were well supported during our home Six Nations matches earlier in the year at Broadwood and we cannot wait to run out at Scotstoun.
Personally, I spend lots of my time at Scotstoun because I work for Glasgow Warriors as a Game On Project Development Officer.
I love it there and I help to make sure that we have Warriors players out in the community visiting clubs regularly as well as making sure that youngsters get the chance to be part of the matchday experience for the pro team.
Our Game On initiative which helps people gain confidence and life skills through rugby and I use the Scotstoun facilities to get in some extra training from a rugby point of view.
As my days are pretty busy, I am often in the gym around 7am in the morning working on my strength & conditioning programme.
All of the women’s players with hopes of playing for Scotland work hard to fit their training around jobs, studies and other commitments and everyone is dedicated.
When I see the Warriors’ players around Scotstoun they are really good with me and always ask how my rugby is going and it is great to be able to ask them for advice and such like.
I have been involved with rugby since I was at school in Inverness and a new teacher started taking an after-school training session.
From that point on I was hooked and now play for Hillhead/Jordanhill and have taken great pride in representing Scotland over the years.
My dad is a big rugby man so when he had two daughters I guess he thought he may never see a family member play internationally, but both myself and my sister Sarah have represented Scotland and he has really enjoyed that.
That was especially the case a few years ago when we were both on the pitch at the same time for Scotland for the first time down in Wales, he had driven a long way to get there, but it was worth it.
I had an operation in the summer, so have been out of action for a while, but I have been around the Scotland squad and things are going really well.
We have had a number of camps already this season and have enjoyed training at Oriam at Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh. We’ll be back there next week as we build up to the first match against Spain.
All of the girls in the international squad are much fitter and stronger now due to extra training and involvement in the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy.
Confidence levels have also risen and we go into every match believing in what we are doing.
There are so many players vying for starting spots and competition is fierce with many people having put their hands up during the recent match against Wales.
I missed out on that game, but in the coming days I will be doing everything I can to make sure I am in the squad for the Spain game as there is nothing quite like playing for your country.
Women’s Rugby World Cup Qualifiers
Friday, November 18: Scotland Women v Spain Women, Scotstoun Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm)
Saturday, November 26: Spain Women v Scotland Women, Central University Stadium, Madrid (kick-off 1pm local time)
Tickets for the home leg are available now via scottishrugby.org/tickets – adults £5 and under-18s free
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