15th October 2019, 20:00 | englandrl

England Women step up preparation at Shark Park

England Women step up preparation at Shark Park

England Women stepped up their preparations for the Downer World Cup Nines tournament with a training session at PointsBet Stadium – more commonly known as Shark Park – the home of NRL side Cronulla Sharks.

The home of the 2016 NRL champions hosted England Women’s first training session since touching down in Australia ahead of Friday’s two-day 9s schedule, which will see Craig Richards’ side battle Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand.

Richards said: “One of the great things about this 9s competition and coming to Australia are the facilities we are being allowed to access and Shark Park was an example of that.

“It was a really good training session down in Cronulla. The girls displayed a lot of energy both on the field and in the gym and you can see there is a really positive feeling in camp.

“The 9s is a new concept and one that we’re having to adapt to in training. You’ve got a short period in which to score points as oppose to building pressure like you might in a regular game which immediately makes it more expansive and off-the-cuff.

“But we feel that the 9s concept will suit us with the players that we have in the side.”

Tuesday’s session was Emily Rudge’s first since being confirmed as England Women’s captain and she is one of only a handful of the current squad to have trained at Shark Park previously.

“A couple of the girls including myself were down here in 2017 for the Rugby League World Cup and it was really good to be back as the stadium is great,” Rudge said.

She added: “I think a couple of us were feeling a little stiff from the flights so to get everybody out on the field was important.

“We’re really looking forward to that first game on Friday, but we’ve got a few tough training sessions lined up to prepare ourselves for the tournament.”

England’s Women’s side are set to open their Downer World Cup 9s campaign against Papua New Guinea on Friday (1845 AEDT/0845 GMT), before facing Australia (1435 AEDT/0435 GMT) and New Zealand (1805 AEDT/0805 GMT) on Friday.

The Downer World Cup Nines Women’s tournament final will be played on Friday (1945 AEDT/945 GMT).