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A BUCS Special




in sport S


LEARN HOW TO... be a rugby Goddess in the gym

Exclusive: “The match day I ended up in hospital” S iz z li n g H o t Sevens •Ireland’s seven steps to sucess •England’s open invitation for trials •Win tickets to the Newquay Surf 7s festival SCOTLAND

The wilting Flower THE LIONESS




have always had an interest in rugby and have followed North London based club, Saracens, since an early age. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that I suddenly began to take more notice of the women’s game. Anyway, with my interest piqued I began to explore further - this time experimenting myself, and I realised how great the game of rugby is to play as well as to support! This threw me into a world of mud, blood, tears and gossip and I think it is only fair to share this with all the people who take pride in playing or supporting the sport. The Lioness is a leisure magazine, full of information, features, pictures and real-life stories from within the women’s game. So here is the first month’s trial for you to indulge in. I just hope it satisfies the needs of a much forgotten readership!

JENNIFER CASTLE Editor, The Lioness Email: Phone: 07947277242 Official Sponsor:



Contents PAGE 4

England hoping to hit Euros with a pound-ing PAGE 6

Prop idol celebrates half a Century for Wales PAGE 8

Wilting Flower of Scotland PAGE 10

Ireland: The seven deadly wins PAGE 14

Universities pay out big BUCS to support their teams PAGE 16

Jonny’s sharking for a blonde, confident, rugby girl! PAGE 18

Rugby hoping to step into footballs boots PAGE 20

I’m no tag along... I play rugby! PAGE 24

Real life story:The match day I ended up in hospital PAGE 26

How to be a Goddess in the gym PAGE 28

Power through powder...Are supplements safe? PAGE 30

England’s Grand open invitation to sevens trials Slams capped players PAGE 31

Competition to win four tickets to Newquay Surf 7s THE LIONESS


England hoping to hit E





the first nation to formally announce their side to compete for FIRA’s European Trophy at the end of the month in Spain.

The Grand Slam Champions are sending their A squad to the tournament and have picked 25 players – many whom were part of the World Cup last year.

“I think the Irish will have a normal squad and French are always good. The home nations will probably send their normal squads. I think the England coaches are treating the tournament as a developmental tour. England should make the final stages but who knows?” England A will kick off their European Trophy campaign on the back of a 34-7 victory over Spain

England’s Charlotte Barras powering through the Irish defence in the Six Nations earlierthis year

Rosemarie Crowley, Sarah Hunter, Francesca Matthews, Rowena Burnfield, Kim Oliver and Georgina Rozario are set to head to Spain after being involved in the successful Six Nations campaign. The tournament in Coruna, Spain, sees England A play Italy, the Netherlands and Russia. Experienced international player, Charlotte Barras, gives us her predictions for the tournament.



last month and a 19-22 defeat to the Nomads, the women’s game’s version of the Barbarians, in February .

Fixtures: • • • •

Saturday April 30th - Italy v England Monday May 2nd – Netherlands v England Wednesday May 4th – Russia v England Saturday May 7th – Finals Day

Euros with a pound-ing The break-down

England’s Charlotte Barras’ player overview for the FIRA tournamen

Irish prop Lauren Day



Prop Idol celebrates ha J

ennifer Davies gained her 50th cap for Wales against France in the Six Nations. The Lioness caught up with the prop to find out about her spectacular rugby career. Nickname: Treacle Date of Birth: 11th March 1982 Birthplace: Builth A pre-match photo with Welsh team-mate Mared Evans on the day of Treacle’s 50th Cap Wells, Powys, Wales Career: Further is a big learning curve for all of us. We Education Lecturer in are very pleased as a squad and we are Sport and Public Services starting to gel as a team and I believe Rugby position: Prop, Hooker and this squad can produce great things. Backrow You received your 50th cap for Wales International debut: recently... what does this mean Spain 2003 Points scored internationally: “You never to you? It means the world to 10 know if you me. It was always one of my When did you first start are going to goals but you never know if you are going to achieve it as woplaying and why? I started achieve it” mens rugby is developing and playing when I was 18 and producing some excellent playstarted university at UWIC. ers in Wales. I’ve always had I’ve always wanted to play competition so never knew if I the sport and this was the an could sustain playing at a high level ideal opportunity to have a go! for so long. Its a dream come true! Wales came fourth in the Six nations High point of career: My first cap; first last month… How do you feel Wales start; first try; beating England; Winperformed? Due to some of the older and more experienced girls retiring and ning the triple crown; and 50th Cap. Low point of career: Getting banned in having many younger players in the squad I think that Wales did very well. the World cup has been the worst experience of my life. It has been We played some good games but also didnt perform against other teams so it mentally challenging to get myself



alf a century for Wales when it comes to your home country? through such a horrible experience. I Very, I always follow Welsh athletes now know I can pull myself through in our sporting events and anything. celebrate being Welsh in my In the time you have played “Getting banned unique way. I’m proud and international rugby what in the World honoured to be Welsh! changes have you noticed in the women’s game? There is cup has been the If you weren’t an international worst experience rugby player what would be more competition and the of my life” your dream job? My dream standard is getting higher job would be helping athletes each year. achieve their dreams. Helping Do you think women’s rugby will ever be professional? Not in them manage their lives and commit-

Elen Evans, Jennifer Davies, Elinor Snowsill, Catrin Edwards (c) Awen Thomas, Laura Prosser, Rachel Taylor

my playing career and probably not in my lifetime. I do believe it will at some point due to equality. Once international women’s rugby is telivised every game then it will increase the chances of women being professional athletes. In Wales rugby is known as the national sport… how patriotic are you

ments and helpong them be the best. What can we expect from you in the future? Good things hopefully. If in the media for the right reasons. Hopefully I will be able to make the next World Cup and that will be my chance to demonstrate that I am the best in the world in my position!



Wilting flowe S

cotland is in danger of falling off the international grid after coming last in the Six Nations, losing every game, scoring only 20 points and having 231 points scored against them. Including the warm-up match against Spain, Scotland has lost five out of their six games in 2011 by record-breaking margins. It is difficult to see what they could possibly have gained by the experience, other than maybe a habit of losing. Scotland desperately needs to re-think their game plan if they want to compete amongst the other rugby nations. Scottish fly-half Caroline Collie was the most accurate and tactical kicker in the Six Nations and Scottish young talent was evident throughout the campaign especially from number eight, Lindsay Wheeler and full back, Katy Green. Scottish Flanker Jemma-Louise Forsyth had her debut against Wales in February after coming through the Scotland women’s academy. But other than that their new players have had so little ball to play with its hard to 8


come to any conclusions about them at all. Both Italy and France have previously used the FIRA European Trophy Tournaments to improve their standard “Scot of play. However the only British team to com- despe pete this year is England. needs Scotland’s young team think have to have a chance to game play games where they are not forced to defend for 80 minutes, and the solution must be to play more games against other European opposition.

er of Scotland in a competitive tournament. It may be for the Scottish Rugby Union to step up and make the changes to a set-up that is clearly not working for the rugby proud nation. Fundamental issues need to be addressed with time against them and it is not only the women’s team that needs quick changes, with the men’s elite squad suffering from a poor performance in the Six Nations, Scotland have little to celebrate.

However, Scotland might be on the road to re-building and developing a new team in time for the World Cup in 2014, which could tland see the underdogs erately go further than s to re- one might suggest the lead up to k their in tournament. plan” the While the development of a U20 team to go alongside the A team is a good move, friendly fixtures cannot compete with the Jemma-Louise Forsyth (left) is one of the new talens in the Scottish team experience of taking part THE LIONESS


Ireland: The sev

As Ireland plan to develop a sevens team in time for the 2013 Sevens Worl


reland have taken their first steps towards developing a women’s rugby pathway for the sevens game with the launch of a new club series this summer. A new representative side called the Shamrock Warriors will also involve leading Irish women’s players. Shamrock Warriors was formed in 2008 by former Irish 7s international players Fergal Campion and Derek Thornton and is an invitational club only. Shamrock Warriors are the first and only 7s club approved by and affiliated to the IRFU. The purpose of the club is to have an Irish 7s team competing in top level tournaments in Ireland, UK and Europe. Ireland will be entering two tournaments this year, Rugby Rocks and West Country 7s, and possibly six competitions next season. This will mean that through involvement with Shamrock Warriors their core base of players will have at least eight quality tournaments under their belt before the World Cup that they would not otherwise have had. The openening of the new 7s club series this summer is a sign that Ireland is eager to develop a team ready for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2013. With only two years to go we put together seven steps to success.



1. wrath

Use rage to gain the upper hand over opponents. Be aggressive, forceful and channel the rage to provide fuel for the physically demanding game.

2. greed

Be greedy. Want the ball at all times. Winning by three points is not enough! You want to bury teams by atleast twenty points.

ven deadly wins

ld Cup The Lioness provides them with a guide on how to win games

5. lust

Everything you do has to be considering rugby. Make rugby more important than eating, breathing, sleeping and sex. Love the game and it will love you back.

6. envy

3. sloth

Do not be become sloth like. Utilize one’s talents and gifts and ensure they are developing their skills with the team in training.

4. pride

Take pride in representing your country. Make your supporters proud by winning games and tournaments and the World Cup.

Do not envy other teams and try to be what they are. You are your own team and need to build up your own style of play and identity. Do not envy team mates who are suceeding. You get out of the game what you put in.

7. gluttony

Watch your diet. Eat healthy and see the positive outcomes on the pitch. Over indulging in the wrong foods will hinder your performance in training and on the pitch. Just remember a moment on the lips is forever on the hips. THE LIONESS






Universities pay out big BU

Leeds met celebrate becoming BUCS champions




t was a great day for rugby as a powerful and masterful performance from Leeds Met Carnegie women’s rugby team saw them secure the BUCS Rugby Union Championship title at a sun swept Twickenham Stadium. Last year’s runner-up Leeds Met defeated Exeter 34 – 5 at the home of English Rugby RFU Twickenham. It was a stunning standard of play by the university teams but even more impressive by the universities. America is renowned for providing students a great sporting platform but I think it’s clear England have followed their lead. Talking to Exeter’s Zoe Saynor we got a great insight into what universities are putting into their student teams. “The university provided the team with a full-package of professional treatment pre-match and post-match.

UCS to support their teams

Following two weeks of quite infor the us to tense training over the holidays, we enjoy. The “Exeter put £5 were lucky enough to travel on the treatment thousand beExeter chiefs coach to both our semi- provided is hind the bar final and the final at Twickenham”. a testament for the girls to When the team arrived at Twickento the steps enjoy” ham they were given a complemenuniversity tary tour of the stadium then headed women’s to the South stand to the Marriott sport has taken over recent years. hotel for the night. The team was “The support from the university then treated by the university to an is absolutely brilliant and the whole evening in the health spa. experience has been absolutely amaz“It allowed us to relax and try and ing and far surpassed expectations”. delay our nerves the day before and, It is a step in the right direction for as we were relaxing in the Jacuzzi university sport which has become a and saunas we had to keep pinching great platform for young athletes to ourselves when we kept rememberensure they can still get an education ing where we were. as well as pursuing their goals in the “We all then piled into a bedroom sporting field. to watch Amber Reed’s motivational team video (as is now becoming tradition) before going to bed in the comforts of the Marriot”. Following the game the champions and runners-up dined at Twickenham then headed on out for a well deserved night on the town. “Exeter Runners-up Exeter were happy to get to the final university put £5 thousand behind the bar THE LIONESS


Jonny’s sharking for a blon


ale Sharks player Jonny Kennedy talks to The Lioness about men’s perceptions on women rugby players and how he finds it sexy! How would you describe the appearance of a typical woman rugby player? Well clearly they look after themselves and have a fit and athletic build. If you met a girl who played rugby would you find it sexy or offputting and why? Obviously I would find it attractive that she has an interest in rugby like me. We could go to games together and she would understand all the rules! Why do you think tennis players and volleyball players are seen as stereotypically sexy but women who play contact sports are not? I think it’s because ultimately rugby is a contact sport which is seen to be played only by men – but I think 16


times are changing and having women play the sport is becoming more common. Schools used to only “We could g offer it to boys but games toge now girls have the opand she wo tion to play as well. understand Do you prefer the rules! toned and muscley for a woman’s body type or curvy and something to grab? The most important thing is that the girl has confidence – that is very attractive! When men get a split eyebrow or broken nose it is a normal occurrence on the rugby pitch and off the pitch it is just another war wound to show off. Do you think women

nde, confident, rugby girl!

go to ether ould d all !”

who play rugby are in danger of being judged by people if they pick up a cut or injury to their face? I don’t think so at all! It shows their willingness to get involved and take one for the team! It means they are passionate about what they’re doing and want to win. Do you think the idea of rugby being masculine affects the amount of girls and women who decide to play the sport? Definitely, times are changing and people are slowly starting to come around to the fact that women are more than capable to play rugby and they are actually quite good at it! Who do you think the best looking women rugby player is and why? I have a preference for blondes so any blonde that can play rugby is the girl for me!



Rugby hoping to step


n April the FA Women’s Super League, the English semi–professional league for women’s association football was established. Women’s football has finally achieved semi-professionalism but is rugby following in their footsteps? Women’s rugby international referee, James Brown, shares his views on the professionalism of women’s rugby. Women’s sport has grown significantly over the last decade. There have been significant improvements in the infrastructure, coaching, training, development, promotion and profile of a number of major women’s sports, including football, cricket and rugby. Ref’s view: Women’s sport has had to work hard to get its deserved recognition – and you need to only look at the recent debacle with Andy Gray from Sky Sports to see the level of ignorance and attitude that remains in some areas toward female sports. I think the England women’s set up has continued to develop and they are considered peers by the male counterparts. The team have played a number of fixtures at Twickenham and are the second best team in the



world. However, rugby remains a poor cousin to football in terms of investment. Top professional rugby players on average earn less in a year than most footballers earn in a week. The men’s game has seen some vast improvements since it went professional in 1995. Ref’s view: I think it will be sometime before there is strong enough funding to make the women’s game semi-professional. It is a shame because with the right funding women’s rugby could become a great spectators sport. The WSL was due to start in 2010 but was deferred for a year due to the global economic downturn. The recession is affecting all sports, the number of teams per club is dropping as less people take up sports and some clubs are becoming financially unstable due to relatively small debts and leading them to close. Ref’s view: No sport is safe and the effect will be to slow the development of all

into footballs boots sports. In an era where so many people invest in sport teams you would expect the profile of all sport to be rising but sport is a business and there is no way to avoid that. The top four players on each team are paid an annual salary in excess of £20,000 in the WSL. Whereas in men’s football, premier league club Chelsea, pays each player on average £68,946 per week. Ref’s view: I still think £20000 is too little for the women. There male counterparts make more than that in one day. But it is a starting point. Wimbledon now provides equal pay (in terms of prize money) so perhaps with sponsorship and further enhancements the female players will begin to earn higher remuneration. For rugby, perhaps £25-£30k would be ideal but there is no money to support that. The FA and ESPN agreed an exclusive four year broadcast rights deal for television coverage of the WSL. Five live matches will be shown in addition to a weekly highlights package. Media coverage of women’s rugby is unquestionably

one of the biggest issues in it turning professional. Ref’s view: Women’s rugby had most of its recent Six Nations broadcast and the World Cup was broadcast in full. The game will continue to grow and this will attract better publicity and coverage. With the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 and the Rugby Sevens tournaments at the 2016 Olympic Games women’s rugby is demanding a lot of commitment from the English players. Women’s rugby is in danger of putting too much pressure on the unprofessional players who also have careers. Ref’s view: It would take a lot of pressure off the players if it went professional and they would have greater access to support and critically more time to train and prepare for major tournaments. It would also help to attract more players.



I’m no tag alo N

Holly with her trophy after winning a minis tournament with her team, Saracens.

ot a lot of girls play rugby at a young age, many players start at university or after playing a similar sport. We spoke to Holly Evans Maranzana, aged six, about what rugby meant to her and moving from playing as a mixed sex group in the minis to single sex in the juniors set-up. What club do you play for? I play for Saracens minis under sevens How long have you been playing rugby? I started this season Why did you start playing? Because my friends were playing and I wanted to join in! How often do you train and play? Every Sunday and all Easter Weekend What do you enjoy most about playing rugby? Tagging How many girls are there in the team you play for? I am the only girl who plays for my team Will you continue to play rugby for the juniors? Yes - because I really enjoy playing To what age do you plan to play rugby? I’m never going to stop What team do you support? Saracens because I play for them Who is your favourite player? My team mate Oscar because he’s my best friend Do you enjoy watching rugby? Yes - because I watch with my daddy What is your favourite game in training? Bulldog because we get to do lots of running and tag-



ong... I play rugby! ging Have you made a lot of friends through playing rugby? I have made loads! Do you play rugby at school and if not would you like to? My school doesn’t play but I wish it did Do you enjoy playing rugby with boys or would you prefer play ing with girls if there were enough female players to make a team? I like playing with the boys What do you think the biggest difference is when you stop play ing for the minis and start playing for the juniors? I will stop playing rugby with the boys Is there anything you are worries about when you start playing for the juniors? I will miss playing rugby with the boys What position would you like to play? Fly half, because you get the ball What other sports do you play? What sport is your favourite? Swimming, horse riding and football but rugby is my favorite

Holly playing tag rugby with the her best friend Oscar



performance lead rugby apparel and equipment





Real-life story:


efore my accident I lived and breathed sport. Playing rugby since 14, and watching for years before that, eager to have a go at any sport, and being naturally sporty. I started at Medway Rugby Club; a great club which set me up tremendously for future rugby but also and then left to play at Waterloo RFC and representative level when I was at university. I started playing rugby after seeing the team giving out flyers in the town centre. I remember going home and telling my parents I wanted to play. My father was excited, my mother abhorred; parental dislike being of course the final piece in the jigsaw that made me more determined than ever to try! Like most women my size, on the wing. I will never forget my first game – I was so excited to be playing. We were playing against Blackheath and I had the English winger against me. I came off that pitch so bruised but having loved every minute! Rugby quickly became my reason for getting through the week, provided me with my role models and friends like family. Rugby was a lifestyle – particularly in my competitive days – I didn’t go out drinking on a Saturday evening and I was always at the gym or running. I found the position I loved the most and would be mine until my last rugby game… scrum half. I loved the strategy, decision making and lack of requirement to be in one place! So, the match day I ended up in hospital, paralyzed in one leg and with loss of nerve function in my bladder and loss of all peripheral vision, was life changing. A bleed in my spinal cord; suddenly no clear answers about what would happen, what needed to be done. So different to the usual breaks and injuries that had caused me to have contact with doctors previously. “The blood will dissipate and then we will know more, everything may even return to normal” is all I remember hearing, and of course in my mind that was it, in a few weeks everything would be normal again. But weeks went into months, and the physio and others began to talk about ‘if’ rather than when, and then stopped talking about improvement. Things settled into a patter, and I began to face the reality that my life was changed, probably forever. I had a really good physio team and support network around



me, who knew the sort of person I was and pushed me. Whatever they said I couldn’t do I worked really hard at to achieve. I fell off of things. I used to sellotape my leg to my bike so I could go out cycling and often fell into bushes on it or nearly crashed. Even now I fall or trip with scary frequency! But whatever I achieved on my own never satisfied the gap in my life that sport had made. I couldn’t go to watch my old team or have much contact with my team – it was too painful emotionally. I was involved in the management of the GB Deaf Women’s Football team, focusing on getting them ready for the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei, but it wasn’t the same as playing as part of the team, or the feeling you get when scoring a try in a top game. Over the next 6 months, my family, friends and key players like the injured players foundation of the RFU kept in regular touch with me, gently pushing me to accept the changes and start to live my life again – to get out and about, join the gym, and to use the support to help my family go back to some reality. I had to accept that things had to be done differently; learning to use a catheter, getting to work was so very hard, it is not until something like this happens that you realize how difficult public transport is. The transition from seeing me bouncing around, organizing charity events, even bringing my Heelies into work to the person dragging one leg behind her and stumbling around on crutches or in the wheelchair must have been a shock to my colleagues, but they never showed anything but respect and support to me. Eventually, a year after my accident, with the support and encouragement of the RFU Injured Players Foundation welfare officer, I contacted and met up with the Disability Sports Officer in my region. I left that meeting with a list of options to try, and an invitation to the Paralympic Talent ID day, a sense of excitement. I felt uncomfortable about doing anything that involved a wheelchair; psychological but I guess I wasn’t ready to have a wheelchair as a dominant part of my life yet. So, I went along and had a go at a lot of paralympic sports. I chose Sitting Volleyball to try– a sport I had never heard of! I had never played volleyball before,

but thought it might be fun, especially as it is one of the few non-wheelchair based team sports. So, I went along and it was just amazing! The first thing that struck me was how inclusive it was, just like rugby. At recreational level anyone can play, disabled, able bodied – anyone that can hold their top half and arms up whilst sat on the floor. The second thing was how fast and dynamic it is – moving around on the floor whilst playing, gave me a real workout! I absolutely loved it. Not only being able to do it, but seeing a range of people, such as double amputees– just seeing someone in those circumstances, and seeing how much they did, made me feel a bit of a fake. It’s easy to learn – you don’t need specialist equipment and you can practice at home with just volleyball. And I found my sporting experience helped no end in anticipating the volleyball play. It is basically exactly the same as standing volleyball, with an equivalent height net, except we are sat down on the floor, so you have to move yourself and play all with your arms. I had only been playing sitting volleyball for nine months when I was selected for the GB team and heading for the World Championships in July 2010 and for the Paralympic arena in 2012. I still cannot quite believe it: But it has given me something to aim for, that drive I was missing, and my team is like a family. It’s really great for my 10 yearold son to see athletes in wheelchairs and without limbs – to see that it doesn’t have to be debilitating. When the accident happened, I just thought ‘that’s it’. Actually it’s opened doors I didn’t know were there. In some ways it’s been so positive. As 2012 gets closer, we are becoming tightly focused on the opportunities and challenges that the Paralympics present. Sitting Volleyball centers have been set up all round the country to raise the profile of the sport and get more players, like me (and maybe you!) involved. For women’s sitting volleyball, in particular, we started totally from scratch and it’s great to be part of that. A place in the GB team has to be worked for, and it’s great at 37 to be able to approach a new sport with total commitment. I train every day, skills and

or fitness. We train every week at my club and GB training is at least one whole a month, often every weekend. I also was lucky enough to be on Paralympics GB intensive training course – which is an amazing opportunity to ensure I have the best shot I can at 2012. I have a firm position in the team, as the setter – very similar to a scrum half, and I am sure my rugby history helps me in that no end. Whilst I have no idea how far I will go in the sport, 2012 is becoming more and more like a tangible dream come true. It is the same for me as rugby was; I love it and enjoy every game and training session – wherever that journey takes me, so long as I know I have tried my best I am happy. I am enjoying every minute of it and it has given me the chance to look at myself in the mirror and focus on what I CAN do rather than the new limitations. I feel like I have got ‘me’ back. On and off the court, the team is just like the rugby team – pulling together, supporting each other and making fun of each other. Disability becomes normalized, we laugh with each other when we fall over or a coach tells the amputees to touch their toes! It’s helping me see all sorts of things that I resented about my disability in a more positive light – I am now not fighting taking the medication that will give me less pain, and am even accepting using the wheelchair full time, reducing the risk of injury and ensure I am as rested as I can be for the volleyball court! The time commitments and financial commitments are huge – especially for those of us starting up and in minority sports that don’t attract the sponsorship that others do. I am determined to find a way though, and the RFU Injured Player Foundation is providing me with an invaluable financial grant to support me attending training. I can’t thank my family, friends, medical team and the RFU enough for the consistent and constant support and encouragement they have given me. Without any of them, I am sure I would not be sitting here now, finishing this on the way home from work and before getting ready to go to the gym. Maybe seeing me in 2012 or the world championships will be reward for them.



How to be a god Overhead squats

Weighted pass

Squats are full body compound exercise, mainly working the quadriceps. Squats build up good leg strength and power that can be used in the ruck situation

This exercise works on upper body. The weighted rugby balls and medicine balls are a good . exercise as it helps passes

Stability ball balance

High speed bounce

This develops hand-eye coordination and core stability. This will help improve your catching and passing skills in rugby.

High speed bounces works the leg muscles. The added agility of the turn and jump of this exercise can help improve your side stepping and change of direction.



ddess in the gym Jammer


The exercise works the whole body. This improves scrummaging technique.

The exercise will improve strength and power in upper and lower body. This helps stimulate the initial lifting phase of a line-out.

Russian twists

This works the abdomen muscles.This exercise enhances rotational mobility which helps you with all the twists and turns your body will go through in a rugby match

Resisted pass

Squats are full body compound exercise, mainly working the quadriceps. Squats build up good leg strength and power that can be used in the ruck situation



power through powder.


upplements that aim to improve athletic performance are also known as ergogenic aids. They promise to improve performance, strength, and speed. Some products have been used for years and have wide scientific evidence supporting their use, while others are new and relatively unknown. Supplement use is a widespread and a largely accepted practice by athletes, with a high prevalence of use, and a large range of different types and brands of supplements. When deciding to take a supplement there should be a few issues that you should consider first. • Is the supplement safe? • Is it legal? • Is it actually effective for your sport? There is no point ingesting Creatine for aiding in sprint performance, if you are a marathon runner! Some supplements may cause side effects, and these vary from supplement to supplement. Consequently, it is extremely important that you research any supplements as much as possible before usage. Purchase supplements from reputable sources to ensure supplements are not contaminated with any products could inadvertently cause doping. Another issue with supplement use is the expense. Expense must be carefully considered when there is little scientific evidence to support a products claim of direct or indirect benefits to athletes. The goal for many Rugby Union players is to achieve gains in lean body mass.



Consuming sufficient energy and macronutrients (carbohydrate, proteins and fats) to achieve such gains can be difficult. To achieve the level of energy intake required, players should consume ~6 meals/snacks a day, with a focus on nutrient dense carbohydrate rich foods that also provide moderate amounts of protein. Another key strategy in promoting gains in or at least maintaining lean body mass is through the strategic intake of appropriate foods/fluids during and after hard training sessions. Intake of carbohydrate during a session (e.g. sports drink, gels) can not only help to enhance training performance providing fuel for the working muscles, but also make it easier to meet overall daily energy requirements. During the immediate post training period (<1 hour post) (both team and weights sessions), it is important players consume a snack that contains both a good source of carbohydrate and protein. Estimated daily protein requirements for Rugby Union players should be 1.4-1.7 with females consuming 15% less (e.g. a 70kg male aiming for 98 – 119g per day, 70kg female 83 - 101g per day). Generally, athletes can obtain all the protein they require from a good mixed diet. Occasionally, an athlete may require a supplement when a practical way to consume sufficient food cannot be found. Many protein supplements are very expensive due primarily to the amount of marketing that accompanies products and the processing required extracting the protein. Good alternatives to protein supplements include simple homemade fruit smoothies

... are supplements safe? and 20g skimmed milk powder added to regular milk. Table 1. Protein rich foods for athletes. Each of the following foods provides approximately 10 g of protein. These foods have moderate to low fat contents and are rich in other nutrients.

Animal Foods

Plant Foods

2 small eggs

4 slices (120 g) wholemeal bread

30 g (1.5 slices) reduced fat cheese

2 cups (330 g) cooked pasta

70 g cottage cheese 3 cups (400 g) cooked rice 1 cup (250 ml) lowfat milk

3 cups (90 g) wholegrain cereal

35 g lean beef, lamb or pork (cooked weight)

3/4 cup (150 g) lentils or kidney beans

40 g lean chicken (cooked weight)

200 g baked beans

50 g grilled fish

120 g tofu

50 g canned tuna or 60 g nuts or seeds salmon 200 g reduced fat yoghurt

300 ml soy milk

150 g light fromage 100 g soy meat frais The manufacturers of most protein shakes say independent testing shows their products are within government safety standards even if taken three times a dayâ&#x20AC;Ś what would happen if someone took more than the recommended amount? On average, the body cannot utilise more than each day, whether the protein

is from supplements or food. Daily protein intakes under in healthy athletes are unlikely to cause side effects. Less is known about the long-term side effects of protein intakes above However, increasingly high protein intakes can increase the amount of calcium excreted in the urine. This may cause problems with athletes at risk of weakened bones - for example, in female athletes with low energy intakes who are not menstruating. High protein intakes are also known to accelerate the progression of any preexisting kidney disease. Caffeine is another well researched supplement which is popular with athletes. It is evident that caffeine supplementation provides an ergogenic response for sustained aerobic efforts in moderateto-highly trained endurance athletes. However, more recent research has established it effects in team sports. An intake of 4-6 of caffeine can be advantageous to either short term or intermittent/ prolonged duration high-intensity performance. A study examining the effects of caffeine on Rugby Union performance was the ďŹ rst to show an improvement in a team sport skill-related task (10% improvement in ball-passing accuracy). Results of this study also indicated that caffeine enables athletes to maintain sprint times at the end of the circuit, relative to the beginning of the protocol.



England’s Grand Invitation to

Sevens trials Slams capped players


he Grand Slam Champions are inviting all players from all levels to attend this year’s sevens trials hoping that the dolly mixture of experienced and amateur will be trained and ready for the 2013 Sevens World Cup. It is beyond me why the World Cup squad of last year are not the obvious pick by the coaches. They showed they were fast, created gaps, played an open game and can put points on the board, which to me is the perfect combination for sevens rugby. But no, instead they decide to open the trials up to anyone. Does England care about sevens or are we going to field a mediocre team for the Sevens World Cup and focus on becoming number one in the 15s game? If so, fair enough, but they should be honest about the campaign and call it a ‘developmental tour’ or something similar to protect the reputation of the team ranked second in the World. Those attending will be tested on their fitness, rugby skills and game play. The only requirement is a good level of fitness equivalent to level 11 on the multistage aerobic shuttle test. I guess that will narrow the selection down by getting rid of front rows across England. I really doubt England are really



this desperate for players. Does this not undermine all the effort put in by the women in the premiership teams? So what if a student comes swaggering along and has a good performance at the trials, does this mean they are international standard or even premiership standard? England competed at the sevens World Cup back in 2009 but have been much less active since. They have had great success in 15s in the last couple of years and it seems to me that England are anti-sevens. If England fielded their full strength experienced side they could find themselves back on the podium on a World stage but I really believe they have no interest in it. Perhaps this is great news to other nations such as Canada, Netherlands and France who show their enthusiasm for sevens by entering the major international tournaments in Las Vegas and Hong Kong. Canada and the Netherlands may not be able to challenge England 15s squad but I would put a cheeky fiver on them if they came against our “England” sevens squad. England are competing in the summer tournaments including the Rugby Rocks, the West Country 7s, the Newquay 7s and the European 7s. I question whether the England sevens players are allowed to have careers or have the coaches deliberately targeted university students on their summer holidays?



ne lucky Lioness reader will win a sensational experience thanks to Newquay Surf 7s 2011. The winner and three friends will recieve an inclusive pass for the two-day festival. This includes entrance, overnight cabin and all food paid for. Then they will have a personal surf lesson from former rugby England international, Phil Greening. For a chance to win this fantastic prize, just answer this question: What was the final score in the women’s World Cup final in 2010 when England played New Zealand?

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• Sevens Special: Manchester 7s ! Edinburgh 7s! Beach Rugby Wales! • Development of Rugby: Interview with Maggie Alphonsi • School of hard Chicks: Interview with Will Greenwood • European Trophy Highlights: How the Brits shape up in Spain • The RFU Wine Club: A rugby ladies hobby taken care of • Coaching women: The do’s and don’ts • Summer scorchers: Keep in Shape guide

LEARN HOW TO... Keep in shape over the summer





Jennifer Castle  

Exclusive: “The match day I ended up in hospital” Supplements •Ireland’s seven steps to sucess •England’s open invitation for trials •Win ti...

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