Inter Services preparations take the RNRU(W) North
The RNRU(W) headed to Merseyside for some culture and fun but most importantly some dedicated training time ahead of their Inter Services games against the RAF(W) on 20 April and Army(W) on 30 April. A 4-day period in Liverpool, based at Altcar Army Camp in Hightown, enabled the coaching team to get the players away from the day-to-day pressures of work and homelife to enable focus ahead of the 2 biggest games of the season.
The first day of training involved some dedicated set-piece work including rucking drills, lineout and scrum-work coupled with the backs finessing their running lines. This opportunity has enabled some players who have recently returned from operational deployments to re-integrate back into the squad. The key aim of this training session was to prepare the team for the evening ‘live’ training session with Firwood Waterloo Ladies who play in Women's Championship North 1 and are on the verge of promotion. Currently top of their league by a considerable margin, they are a skilful and experienced side and the RNRU(W) benefited greatly from them in terms of witnessing the speed, tempo and aggression that is required from a high calibre team. They were also able to demonstrate a variety of skills and strategies, whilst providing advice on technique in the various set pieces.
On the second day in camp the RNRU(W) took some of the skills and advice learned into a lighter but none the less focussed and beneficial training session back at Altcar. Head Coach ‘George’ Hillan was pleased with how much progress the girls had made in only 24 hours; stating,
"We are always looking for different ways to build and consolidate our foundation skills and then to transcribe that onto the pitch".
On completion of the training phase the team embarked on a cultural quest organised by Merseyside native and RNRU(W) Team Manager Jane ‘Jan’ West. This kicked off with the team paying homage to the Liverpudlian stereotype (The Scouser) before tracing the history of John, Paul, George (not Hillan), and Ringo - The Beatles - on the Magical Mystery Tour. Other activities included the Shiverpool Ghost Walk, The Beatles Story and visiting other famous sites in Liverpool such as The Cavern Club, The Albert Dock and The Liver Building.
All in all thoroughly good preparation for the Inter Service competition. It is clear that the team are more confident in the approach to the competition than in previous years. Assistant Team Manager Claire Garrett commented
"The bond between the players has really benefited from the TSG's approach this season. The girls are physically and mentally in a better place than they have been for some time and it is already showing in their attitude and performance to date".
Article by David Martin (RNRU(W) Comms Manager)
Images Alligin Photography / © David Martin