- England in Sydney between 26-28 January
- Bailey names England Women Sevens squad for Sydney
Ahead of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Sydney on 26-28 January, England Women Sevens wing Amy Wilson Hardy reveals her journey to representing her country.
What do you remember about the first time you played sevens?
“My first cap was on the European circuit in Marbella, in the same year the girls were preparing for the sevens World Cup.
“I was exhausted and didn’t really have a clue what I was doing at first, just running around following the person next to me.
“So much of sevens is just playing, so at that point I hadn’t been capped in the 15 a-side game so had just been playing club rugby for Bristol and I had been doing the sevens training on-and-off for a few months, so I was thrown in at the deep end, learning in the best possible way.
“You pick it up so quickly though, especially playing with experienced players around you. When you come into a squad you realise how different and specialised sevens is."
What do you enjoy most about the sport?
“It’s such an adrenaline buzz for me, running with the ball in space is great fun and it’s something you just don’t get a lot of in 15s. Also, add that to playing in front of some fun crowds makes it a great experience.
How would you sell the game to someone new?
“Fast-paced, guaranteed excitement and your concentration span only needs to last for 14 minutes (as a fan), so you can stay involved for that amount of time. But you’re guaranteed scores, great skills and some rapid players."
What’s the most memorable game you’ve ever played in?
“At the Olympics in Rio in 2016, obviously we finished on a low but the first four games we played were some of the most enjoyable of my career.
"Looking back on it now and realising what stage you performed at is pretty remarkable.
“I looked at it as this amazing event which I would watch every four years and then to be part of that is still an incredible feeling, but it is surreal; it’s not going to be until I’m a grandma looking back on life suddenly realising that it actually happened.
“It was quite bittersweet with the enormity of the event; it was incredible - but coming fourth is such a horrible place to finish."