Get Ready For the Women’s Six Nations with England’s Kelly Smith

In the run up to this year’s Women’s Six Nations, we caught up with England Women’s Kelly Smith to find out more about the upcoming tournament, get some insight into her match preparations and find out her thoughts on the growing popularity of Women’s rugby.

What does a typical training week look like in the run up to the Six Nations?

Rugby sessions will become less intense – there’s not as much running or ‘red’ involvement – meaning contact. We will have 2 gym sessions a week, again lightening the load in the run up to a game.

How (if at all) does your training change?

It just becomes more match specific, staying fresh and ready for game day. It’s still mentally intense getting to know all the right calls and rolls.

How (if at all) does your nutrition/meal prep change?

Nutrition doesn’t change massively. The day before a game it is important to get a big meal in, in order to maintain an 80 minute game, and hydration is key all the time.

What do you do to get yourself motivated pre-match?

I listen to music to get me up for games, I’m usually pretty chilled though, it’s how I cope with performing well.

What song is at the top of your training play-list?

Kanye west, stronger.

Do you have any pre-match rituals/superstitions?

No superstitions – I think that’s a bad trait haha! But I do always plait my hair into two plaits.

What is your biggest challenge for the tournament?

To play well and consistently throughout the campaign, but ultimately to win the title.

Who will be your strongest opponents?

France – good news there as The Red Roses beat France 19-13!

What’s your recovery like? 

Post-match it’s about getting as much protein in as possible to recover -protein shakes and bars. Then the dreaded ice baths for 5 minutes, going in up to your shoulders (BRRRR) – everyone’s worst nightmare!

What do you look for when buying kit?

Comfort, and it has to be reasonably stylish. Not overly colourful as I kind of like the boring colours – like black or grey – in the summer I do like a subtle coral colour.

With the women’s Six Nations around the corner, have you noticed a growth in the women’s game?

I’ve definitely seen a huge growth in the women’s game and I think it can still get better. Especially when the women’s game is promoted  as much as the men’s, so people know what’s happening and when we are playing. We need as much continued support as possible to keep growing the game to where we want it to go.

With that in mind – make sure you tune in to catch Kelly and the Red Roses in action throughout the tournament.

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