England Sevens captain Abi Chamberlain talks through the squad’s best finish on the Women's Sevens World Series – finishing third in Canada – and their goals ahead of the London leg in May
The result in Canada on the Women’s Sevens World Series was our best result this season and everyone is happy with the way we performed, writes England captain Abi Chamberlain. Most pleasing was the fact that we played some impressive rugby on day two of the tournament, which has traditionally been the day which has let us down.
Not surprisingly, backing up our day one performance has been a big focus of ours. Day one is important but it’s only as important as where it puts you for day two, when medals are won and league positions are decided.
On the second day we had a tough job ahead of us playing against the home nation in the quarter-final with over 4,000 supporters in the stadium cheering for them. The girls were clinical and did the job they needed to against Canada, who sit above us in the standings, and the result followed.
We were confident going into the semis against current World Series champions New Zealand. We tested them but being the team that they are, they pulled away with two tries at the end. They have done that time and time again and credit to them.
The third-place play-off was another tough match against France and it was a great result to beat another team above us. Finishing third is the best we have done all season; we are now level on points with the USA in the series and have some real positives to take forward to London in May.
Our performance in Langford clearly showed we are getting better at what we are doing and connecting more as a squad, so it’s looking good for the next two tournaments at the Stoop and in Amsterdam.
I have to credit Canada Rugby, it was the best venue that we have been at. I got my 20th cap when we were out there so I have seen my fair share of away venues, but this one was phenomenal.
Normally we don’t have a hotel in the city, but in Langford we were right in town. There was a harbour just down the road so we could get out and see and do things. Sometimes I find I get cabin fever if I am stuck in the hotel, but this tournament was different. We went to an ice hockey match and it was great to experience a bit of Canadian culture as it is a really big thing for them out there.
Since returning from Canada the squad have spent time doing individual recovery work. Everyone is happy and the wider squad have been so supportive. Everyone is really excited for the next round.
When we play at the Twickenham Stoop on 15-16 May, there is a little bit more on it as we have friends and family who will be there to watch which makes it a little more personal. We will be on home soil but at the end of the day it’s the same 12 teams, the same pressure and we want the same as always – to finish as high as possible in the tournament.
We have to ignore the fact that we are not getting on a plane to go halfway around the world, but driving half an hour down the road from Guildford where most of us live.
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We learnt some really positive things about what makes us perform well in Canada and the London leg will be about making sure we stay focused and stick to the preparation we have been working so hard on.
England Women will be playing at the Stoop on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 May in the penultimate round of the Women’s Sevens World Series. To book tickets please click here or call 020 8410 6010.