15th October 2019, 14:14 | englandrl

My Tour Diary: Part One | Caitlin Beevers

My Tour Diary: Part One | Caitlin Beevers

The Leeds Rhinos star talks crying on the plane, roommate selection and more...

18-year-old Caitlin Beevers is embarking on her first trip Down Under as part of the England Women’s squad for the inaugural Downer World Cup 9s and a ground-breaking tour of Papua New Guinea and we’ll be hearing from the Rhinos full-back throughout the next few weeks…

Well, what a few days, although I’m not sure I quite know which day it is.

We’ve just finished up on our first day in camp ahead of the Downer World Cup 9s in Australia, but it feels like so much longer after the travel.

It’s been a manic few days particularly for the girls who featured in Friday’s Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final as we played that evening, then met up with England and started our travels to the other side of the world.

It was a crazy journey with a seven hour flight to Abu Dhabi followed by a 13 hour flight to Sydney with a five-hour lay-over in-between, but it was made much easier being with all the girls as we started to get that buzz about being in camp together again.

I was sat next to Danielle Anderson on the first flight who I know really well through playing together at Leeds Rhinos. I remember being sat next to Danielle when we visited France last year and she isn’t a big fan of flying so I gave her a bit of stick on the way to Abu Dhabi. On the second flight, I had Chantelle Crowl next to me and we ended up playing Battleships for what seemed like hours!

The second flight was the tough one with it being so long, I’ve only ever flown for five hours before, so it was definitely mentally tough. I managed to get through a wide range of films though including ‘Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘A Star is Born’ which meant I shed a few tears on the flight! I watched a few comedies after that to bring me back around.

I think the squad were absolutely delighted when we finally landed – I know I certainly was!

Next on the list was finding out who you're rooming with which is always fun when you came away on international duty because it’s usually with people you only spend time with when you meet up as part of the England Performance Unit.

And that was the case again this time as I’m sharing with Jodie Cunningham who I had a feeling I would be sharing with as we tend to be partnered up with players who play similar positions.

We’ve already had plenty of Rugby chat in our room and it’s really interesting to speak to girls from other clubs about how they do things. For example, myself and Jodie were talking about how our clubs – Leeds and St Helens – have different approaches to half-time team talks.

I think that is one of the great things about meeting up as part of the England Performance Unit as you all learn from each other and see what other players and clubs do differently. This can only make you a better player in the long run and it can certainly only benefit us as England and make us a stronger squad ahead of the Downer World Cup 9s.

Tomorrow, we get back out on the field at Cronulla’s Shark Park…