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Beth Stafford: the first interview

Beth Stafford, one of the Bears new signings over the summer, has been relishing being back in training and getting to meet the rest of her teammates.

“My first week has been really good. People have been so friendly. I’m fortunate being on the full-time programme as I get contact time with more people more regularly, so that’s been quite helpful.”

The forward makes the move to Bear Country from Sale Sharks, where she captained the side.

“I think initially when Dave (Ward) approached me, obviously the ambition of the club was a big key thing which attracted me to the club. Then actually arriving here and feeling that, it’s not something that he’s just saying as a ploy to get people here. The energy of the players and around the HPC is just great.”

After sustaining an injury last season, Stafford admits that the bronco first up was “tough with all those turns, but the old injury is fine. For about two hours post bronco it was the lung burn which was unbelievable.

“I’m really enjoying being back as I haven’t done any rugby in about six months, so I’ve just been focusing on each block at a time and getting back to full fitness.”

Looking ahead to the start of the season and her ambitions, Stafford said:

“My ambitions for the season are to just get back playing the style of rugby I was pre-injury. I was playing some of my best rugby and really enjoying it, so I’m looking forward to doing that and contributing here.”

Although the previously caped Barbarian player is one of the Bears full time players, Stafford is still commuting from Liverpool for training.

“I haven’t actually moved down to Bristol yet. I’m still commuting from the Northwest. Those who know me will know that me moving to south is a big deal. I haven’t quite done it yet. I’m still working in my job part-time, so I’m remaining up north for now.

“The commute is fine, I’ve learnt to deal with it and I know where to stop. I know to stop at Gloucester on the way down.”

Once the move down south is complete some sightseeing is in order. For now, though, apparently one of the key things to know is where to get a decent cup of coffee.

“Phoebe Murray has said that she’s going to show me where the best place for coffee is. That is the main priority. Just a black coffee, I don’t do milk of any kind.”

For those of you who may not have watch Stafford play before, we asked her to describe her style of rugby.

“I’d describe myself as a ball carrier, that’s my main thing. I love to carry, and I love to hit it up the field. I like to get front-foot-ball whenever I can just to get a bit of a platform for the rest of the team”.

We can’t wait to see this massive ball carrier punching holes in our rivals’ defences, can you?


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