World Cup warm ups can be funny...
All this optimism, we MUST fly their with plenty of wins under our belt etc etc.. but really.. do you?
England's warm ups have overall been great, heavy wins and a small loss away to Wales. England have rightfully so sheltered some of the must starters the best they can in preperation for Japan, I appreciate a luxury most other nations don't have.
I think I learnt the most and I hope this also is the case for the England coaching staff from the Wales loss rather than the Wales win.
Don't get me wrong, in terms of moral and needing a small ego prior to a World Cup getting on the flight Japan bound with good challenging wins under your belt is so important but from a team selection perspective those losses are just as key knowing what works v what doesn't work be that partnerships, formations, tactics whatever.
The same will apply for Ireland and Wales, their loss to England generated a much bigger performance the following week and the same for Ireland who topped Wales in Cardiff today. Even if the team changes nothing, a loss generates a new level a player can reach, a new hunger. Now we just need to hope that they're able to hold onto it until mid September and then the momentum will follow from here.
I'll be honest, following a patchy spell from England of late the World Cup wasn't exciting me... now we're almost at the end of the warm ups, the home nations doing well in the run up and seeing counties touch down in Japan I have a new found optimism, not just for England but for Wales, Scotland and Ireland too...
I think we can all collectively say... BRING IT ON
ps. remember if you want to write a guest blog contact me on twitter at @LadiesITLoose or @WhatKatysSaid