In the fifth and final offering of this web column for the 2016/17 season, Scotland Women Sevens Captain Lisa Thomson writes for us ahead of their trip to Hungary:
You might think that by July all rugby players would be in need of a rest, but given the way this campaign has gone for Scotland Women we just want it to continue.
Well, that might not be strictly true as we are all looking forward to putting our feet up for a couple of weeks after this weekend, but the buzz that has been generated in women’s rugby in this country in 2016/17 has kept us going as we aim to reach new heights.
Over the last couple of years Scottish Rugby have really been supportive of growing the women’s game and giving us international players great facilities for training as well as support in the BT Sport Academy.
I feel so lucky to be coming through at this time and working with Shade Munro, Scott Wight and the other coaches has brought me on and made me more confident.
After the XVs side lost to Spain in the World Cup qualifiers back in November our heads could have gone down, but there is such a good spirit in the group and belief – that really is the key word – that we went into the Six Nations feeling good.
To win the matches against Wales and Italy showed us, and the wider rugby community, that we are now a force to be reckoned with.
And when the sevens squad met for training for the two Rugby Europe Trophy events a couple of months later we were all still buzzing and keen to get going.
To know that we had someone of the calibre and experience of Scott Wight coming into coach us was great because he knows the ins and out of that form of the game.
From the first day of camp he had us working hard and it was clear we were going to be knackered at the end of every session, but I would definitely be worth it.
I play centre in the XV-a-side game, so when Scott asked me if I would play in the forwards in the sevens team I was a bit shocked, but keen to try as I am always up for a challenge.
A few others have also been asked to learn new roles within the team structure, it has involved a lot of learning and concentration, but what has jumped out at me has been the way that group have all put in 100%.
As well as being asked to be a forward, Scott also asked me if I would like to be Captain.
At the age of 19 that was a bit of a shock and I was taken aback a bit, but it was pleasing to know that he and the senior players saw enough in my character and my play to suggest that I could do the job.
It is everyone’s dream to lead out your country and when I told my family and friends they were so happy for me.
As I say the group is so close knit anyway that I know I have 11 other leaders around me who are all willing to chip in and say things when they need to be said.
I mentioned earlier that belief is the key work in the XVs squad and I think trust is the key word within the sevens squad.
Games can change in a flash in this format of the game and you have to know that your team mates have your back – and we do.
When we went to the Czech Republic last month I was so pleased with how we put the things we had been practicing into a game situation.
That was down to Scott and his eye for detail and to come away as winners conceding only seven points over the whole weekend was really good.
However, we have not rested on our laurels and we know that the other countries will be gunning for us in Hungary this time out.
That is why we have been working so hard at Oriam over the last few weeks and we have not let our standards drop one bit.
In fact I think the girls are even more determined now than we were previously because we know we are there to be shot at and need to prove that we are the best.
I am determined to end 2016/17 on a high and I know the rest of the girls are too.
Then we can smile and put our feet up for that well deserved rest.
Information on this weekend
The same squad who won the first round of the Trophy in the Czech Republic last month will be in Esztergom where they will face Malta, Czech Republic and Finland in pool A on day one.
Abi Evans (Hillhead/Jordanhill)
Megan Gaffney (Edinburgh University)
Lauren Harris (Melrose)
Rhona Lloyd (Edinburgh University)
Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Jenny Maxwell (Lichfield)
Louise McMillan (Hillhead/Jordanhill)
Elizabeth Musgrove (Edinburgh University)
Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Chloe Rollie (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Hannah Smith (Hillhead/Jordanhill)
Lisa Thomson (Edinburgh University)
Saturday, July 22:
9am BST Scotland v Malta
11.45am BST Scotland v Finland
2.30pm BST Scotland v Czech Republic
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