Sevens Femminile: Johnston e Gaffney nel gruppo del GB Select per il torneo di Dubai

Megan Gaffney in azione nel test vittorioso contro la Spagna (Credit: Scottish Rugby)
Megan Gaffney in azione nel test vittorioso contro la Spagna (Credit: Scottish Rugby)

Steph Johnston e Megan Gaffney sono state inserite nel Team GB – chiamato, per l’occasione, GB Select – che prenderà parte all’ “International invitational tournament” di Dubai che corre parallelo alla HSBC Sevens World Series che inizierà domani.

Johnston (estremo, scelta come vice-capitano della squadra) e Gaffney (ala) sono state inserite nella squadra della Great Britain Sevens che ha preso parte ad un training camp lo scorso ottobre nel Surrey; il torneo cui prenderanno parte è il primo step in preparazione ai Giochi Olimpici in programma a Rio (Brasile) l’estate prossima.

Il GB Select è stato inserito nella Pool 1 con Tokyo Phoenix, Kenya Lionesses e Colombia; al torneo partecipano anche Galles, Sud Africa, Canadian Maple Leafs e French development side.

Johnston ha passato l’ultima settimana nel camp in Surrey mentre Gaffney era impegnata nel campus con la Nazionale scozzese di Valladolid, chiuso con il prestigioso successo sulla Spagna padrona di casa ma è riuscita a prender parte agli ultimi due giorni di preparazione con il GB Select prima di volare alla volta di Dubai.

Gaffney ha raccontato le sue impressioni in esclusiva al sito ufficiale della Scottish Rugby. Ecco un estratto dell’intervista: “It took a couple of days to adjust to people running directly at me, yes! Everyone in both squads have been really helpful, like, if I’m forgetting to ruck they’ll remind me. I’ve learnt a lot of new skills that I can transfer and I feel a lot more confident as a player. I just have to remember this week that I’ve a lot more space to work with! Scotland Women have never had the opportunity before to be together for more than a few days so it’s good to be able to train without having to worry about work or anything at home and you can push on a lot quicker (…) There were some new faces, some younger ones, some who haven’t been involved before but everyone gelled really well and nobody looked out of place (…) By focussing on the performance rather than the result so much, and by taking that pressure off, the results are coming as we saw at the weekend.

Due camp negli ultimi mesi hanno dato all’ala scozzese una nuova visione del rugby in generale:“It used to be a hobby that I took quite seriously but now it’s everything that I do. Training with Team GB with the England girls, you have some of the best players in the world there so you’re only going to get better. They’ll help you out and share their experiences. It’s a really good opportunity and something that not many people from Scotland have had the chance to do. If I’d been asked a few weeks ago about becoming a professional player I’d have been unsure but I’m really getting into it now and can see the improvements that being able to focus solely on rugby does for you.

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