Gittings looking to kick on after Warriors Women debut

Arriving at a new club on the first day of pre-season training can be a nerve-wracking experience for many players.

But for Warriors Women full-back Mary-Ann Gittings, her move to Sixways was made easier by the fact four of her Gloucester-Hartpury team-mates joined her in travelling up the M5.

Combine this with Gittings having played for the club earlier in her career means it did not take long for her to settle.

“I settled in after a few sessions, I’m really enjoying the atmosphere and environment,” she said, “the input from the coaches and the new set of players has been really fun.

“I knew some of the players here because I was at Worcester when I was a lot younger. So it was nice to see a couple of familiar faces.

“And then some of us went up the M5 together so that helped the transition.”

Gittings, who has been capped twice by England Under-20s, is one of the more experienced members of one of the Tyrrells Premier 15s’ youngest squads.

This experience will prove valuable as the season wears on and Gittings is looking forward to passing on some of what she has learnt to the more youthful members of the team.

“I’ve taken a lot of time to learn the game as much as I can,” she added.

“Having been out of the game for three years at a time, I managed a lot and learnt a lot about the game of rugby.

“So being able to share what I’ve learnt with the players and build together has been something I’m really looking forward to seeing throughout the season.

“We’ve got a bunch of really talented girls so hopefully the mix of me being a bit older and experienced and them having such great talent will combine really well.”

Injuries have seen Gittings ruled out of the game for a total of three years, with the back undergoing six operations before she was able to get back on the pitch.

But after making her full debut last week against Richmond, Gittings is keen to kick on.

“It was really hard, I had a lot of support from my family, and I kept involved with the university team. But it took a lot to come back from that,” she said.

“I ended up having six operations in succession, so it took a lot of hard work, a lot of rehab, a lot of hours in the gym to get back out on the pitch but getting back just felt so good.

“I just want to really push myself now and see what happens. It makes me think I’m more resilient than I think. A lot of people take a lot more than they think I can.

“It goes to show that as much as it hits you down and you struggle through injuries, getting on the pitch does make things better.”

Resilience is a characteristic Warriors will need to take into this weekend’s game away at reigning champions Saracens Women (kick-off 1.30pm).

After impressing against last year’s runners-up Harlequins a fortnight ago, Gittings believes her side has what it takes to compete at Allianz Park.

“I was talking to some of the coaches about how we need to dig in ourselves and find some fight,” she added.

“We’ve started our games really well, and almost dominated for 30, 35 minutes and then things slip.

“But I think we need to find it in ourselves as a group of players, flick a switch and go no, we’re going to fight back.

“If you look at the Quins game, we fought right to the end so we just need to try and maintain that for as long as possible.

“We’ve got an opportunity to put out a good performance. I think we’ve got it in us, we just have to go out on the day to show how much we can fight for it.”