Warriors Women captain Lyndsay O’Donnell wants her players to enjoy playing in front of the biggest crowd for a women’s match at Sixways when they resume their Tyrrells Premier 15s campaign against Bristol Bears Women on Sunday (kick-off 2.00pm).
A crowd of around 2,000 – 1,400 tickets have already been sold in advance – for the match which is also Warriors Women’s Sepsis Awareness Day fixture.
Internationals like O’Donnell, who has played for Scotland, and wing Lydia Thompson, back from playing for England in the Autumn Internationals, have played in front of bigger crowds but for the majority of players it will be a new experience.
“It’s brilliant that we have so many people coming down to support us,” O’Donnell said.
“The message to the girls is: don’t be scared, don’t feel under pressure because of it. Just go out there and try and play well and play good rugby on what should be a great day.”
The Bristol match is only the second time that Warriors Women will have enjoyed home comforts this season.
They have already made three trips to London and a long trek to Darlington Mowden Park Sharks but they will play six of their last eight matches at Sixways.
“It will be nice to be back here with our own facilities, we feel a bit more comfortable here and we want to try to make Sixways a difficult place for other teams to come to play,” O’Donnell said.
“We’ve been down to London, up to Darlington and Gloucester-Hartpury was our closest game.
“In the winter months particularly it’s going to be nice playing at home a lot. We know what the pitch is going to be like and it’s a great surface to play on.”
During a month-long break from league action Jo Yapp, Warriors Women’s new Director of Rugby, had time to work with the squad and the fruits of her work were evident in a 33-0 victory over The Army last week in a warm-up match for the Bristol game.
“Having a month without a league match has been really beneficial. It has given us time to focus on our training and areas for improvement without having the pressure of TP15s games,” she said.
“We had a day training session on the second Saturday we had back which was really beneficial and it allowed us to spend time together as a squad before we played the Army last week.
“We put together what we had been working on during that month in that game without the pressure of trying to look for that first TP win.
“The Army were a really physical and strong team. They only came together that week but they played really well and made us work hard for our tries.
“We were able to put the new structures that we have been working on in place. They really showed in the game. There are still areas to work on, as there always are, but it just allowed us to gel.”
Tickets for Warriors Women v Bristol Bears Women can be purchased here.