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Amber Reed: Atmosphere to be through the roof – Red Roses

In three weeks times the Red Roses travel to Bear Country for the first time ever to take on Wales Rugby in a warm-up fixture ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

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For Bears back Amber Reed, representing her country in her hometown “would be a dream come true.”

“Hopefully I get selected first. To think that as a home girl, born and bred in Bristol and who has played for the Bears for a long time, to be able to run out for my country at my home ground at Ashton Gate is just going to be incredible”, said Reed.

Over the past few years Red Roses matches have seen record breaking crowds, and so have Bears matches, too.

“I think the support we’ve had in terms of Bears over the past couple of seasons has been fantastic. Over 4,000 people came to watch our game against Harlequins the last time we ran out at Ashton Gate, so I’m expecting the atmosphere to be out the roof for an international game.

“Attendance at women’s rugby matches is growing at each match that is played, and to have that spectacle in Bear Country is a really exciting prospect.”

Over the past six weeks Reed has been at the Red Roses training camp, first at the University of Bath and then at Penny Hill Park.

“Training has been pretty tough so far. The first three weeks were looking at getting back into fitness stuff, making sure that we had a good base before heading into the block at Penny Hill Park.

“At Penny Hill it’s been a lot more about rugby side of thing; coming together as a team, looking at our units, finding those rugby skills on the pitch, and building team cohesion heading into the warmup matches and then the World Cup.”

The Red Roses first warmup match is against the US Eagles at Sandy Park at the start of September, before they head to Ashton Gate.

“It’s defiantly I nice lead up going into the World Cup. It’s really important. It’s a great way to prep having those warmup games against other nations.

‘It’s a chance for the coaches to fine tune selection and then for us as players to put our hand to make sure that we’re on the plane and playing in that squad heading to New Zealand.”

And what of their opponents when they run out at Ashton Gate, Wales.

“It’s always interesting playing against the Welsh. There’s a lot of cross over between the Bristol and Gloucester squads, so a lot of the West Country girls in the Red Roses side know a lot about the players in the Welsh team. It’s always a nice competitive battle.

“We know a lot about them, and they know a lot about you. Ultimately, it’s who comes out on top. It's going to be a physical battle. England v Wales obviously has that rivalry as well, and to be playing in Bristol, which is so close to the boarder is going to be intense.”

It’s been five years since the last World Cup and England are looking for redemption.

“It would be a privilege to play in what would be my third World Cup. Playing in the southern hemisphere is very special.

“The atmosphere and the love of the game there is just incredible.  For them to host the biggest competition on the women’s stage and for us to showcase all the hard work that’s now been five years in the making is very special.

“As a Northern Hemisphere country, we get to play in the Six Nations which is a pretty prestigious tournament, but the World Cup just offers something a little bit extra.”

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