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VIDEO – Street: We’ll have a “fantastic” World Cup squad

30 June 2014

  • Street happy with player preparation ahead of tournament in France
  • Increased training time paying off

Just a month out from the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France, head coach Gary Street is confident he will have 26 “fantastic players” at his disposal for the tournament.

Having enjoyed an extended period of preparation after the Six Nations, the squad have built up fitness levels and are now honing finer points such as attacking structures.

WRWC Preview

Photo: Getty Images

“We’ve had an unprecedented amount of training time together, which has made a real difference to the bond of the squad,” said Street.

“We’ve felt a lot closer and we’ve managed to get a lot more done. Now it starts getting exciting.

“We’ll be concentrating on getting our continuity as a team and as a squad. We’ll do selection on July 10, so we’re getting very close to that.

“Only 26 players will go out of the 35 that have been training. That will be a big call because some excellent players will miss out, but we will have 26 fantastic ones.”

After tasting defeat to New Zealand in the last three World Cup finals, England are determined to go one better. However, full back Danielle Waterman suggested this tournament would be the toughest yet.

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Photo: Getty Images

Drawn alongside Samoa, Spain and Canada in a testing group, the 1994 champions cannot afford to start slowly.

“Over the last three World Cups it has been England and New Zealand in the final, but the game has gone further than that now.”

“There’s Australia, Canada and France, who are going to be huge contenders after winning the Grand Slam in the Six Nations.

“There’s the tradition of England-New Zealand, but it’s more than that these days. Having said that, we can beat anyone if we get our game right.”

Waterman enjoyed a superb competition from an individual standing four years ago, but admits the loss against the Black Ferns at the final hurdle still hurts.

Katy Mclean

Photo: Getty Images

Fly half Katy Mclean is another veteran of that excruciating result, but believes an arduous fitness regime will stand the side in good stead for five matches in 17 days.

“There has been tyre-flipping, pulling things, pushing things, a lot of down-and-ups. But it’s been fantastic. If you look at where we are now, the girls are in much better shape than we were during the Six Nations.

“We want to play a good brand of rugby. We’re a positive side and we want to be quick at the breakdown and move the ball.

“When you have the likes of Emily Scarratt, Kat Merchant, Maggie Alphonsi and Heather Fisher in your side, you’ve got a great balance and an attacking base.

“But getting out of our group is the foremost thing we are focusing on – as much as style, it’s about being clinical and concise as well.”