Scotland internationalist Lucy Winter is looking forward to playing in the Premier 15s next season after signing for Sale Sharks Women.
The club will embark on their debut campaign in the competition next season, and have signed Winter – along with her former Edinburgh University team-mate Nicola Howat and Scotland scrum-half Mhairi Grieve – to bolster their squad.
Winter will move from Watsonians, where she was an integral part of the Watsonians side that won the Tennent’s Premiership, scoring 13 tries in 15 outings for the Myreside club.
She spoke to SCRUM this week about her move to the Premier 15s.
“I’m really excited to get down and start with Sale,” she said.
“To be part of a high performance set up is really exciting and it will provide me with all the tools I need to be the best player I can for the club.
“The club is ambitious in their plans for the women’s side and it is such a unique opportunity to be part of something from the beginning and be a part of building the culture on and off the field.”
Winter knows that the step up from playing in Scotland’s top flight will be “massive” but is looking forward to pitting herself against some of the world’s best players.
“Going on what I’ve seen from the Premier 15s as well as those I’ve played with who play in the Premier 15s week in week out, I know the step up will be massive.
“The league attracts quality players from all over the world. The level of conditioning support, top quality facilities and investment from clubs will continues to set this league apart from others. I can’t wait to test myself in this league,” the 25-year-old said.
Training during lockdown
For now, though, training at home is the order of the day as the four-times capped Scotland internationalist looks to get herself into peak condition for the start of next season.
“I’ve got a pretty decent set up. I’ve managed to collect a fair amount of weights from family and friends and I’ve turned the garage into a home gym and I’ve got a park just round the corner where I can do a bit of running too.
“I’ve never been much of a cyclist but we have some great roads round about here so I’ve been getting some decent miles in too. It can be hard training on your own – you don’t have anyone to measure up against so I find myself constantly asking ‘Am I doing enough? Where will I sit when I’m back training in a group?’
“You also want to give your body time to recover too, so it’s just about finding that balance which can be hard to manage on your own.”
And longer term, she’s got one eye on being involved with Philip Doyle’s national team once again, but admitted that the current uncertainty around when rugby will return has made long-term planning more difficult.
‘An honour to get the call’
“I’d love to be involved again,” Winter told SCRUM.
“When you’re out of it, it can at times be hard to see a way back in. I’m going to be down at Sale working as hard as I can be to be best player I can for the club, and if that ends up being something Scotland are interested in then it would be, as always, an honour to get the call.
“It’s hard to set goals and say I’d like to be involved by this date, or by this tournament, because there are so many outside factors, especially at the moment.
“I think this year and the past few months in particular have taught me to concentrate on things you can control, which is where I play my rugby, my training, my mindset, my priorities – and don’t waste too much energy on things you can’t.
“I’d like to think if/when I get these things right then opportunities will follow.”
Image caption: Lucy Winter in action for Watsonians Women during their title-winning campaign. Image credit: Adrian Henry/Rugby People