Hi, I'm Abi Chamberlain, the England Rugby sevens captain.
I wanted to write a blog to share my love for the game and my experience of playing at the fantastic London Sevens.
The London Sevens event is the fifth event of six tournaments in the World Series, with all 12 teams playing for 2016 Olympic Games qualification.
Being made captain of this year's team was an incredible honour and one of my proudest career moments to date. Leading the team out onto the pitch is an incredible feeling. I would say this feeling has been coupled with the success from last season when we finished fourth in the world. And of course, sharing this success with an amazing group of girls.
The Series So Far
It's been an intense series and by far the toughest level of competition I've played in over the last four years. It's definitely been the most unpredictable series. There are no longer any weaker teams, those that aren't the traditional rugby playing nations, they just don't exist anymore; I think this is why it's such an intense and exciting series.
Marriott London Sevens
The Marriott London Sevens is next in the series. If you haven't been, I recommend giving it a try. The support and the way the people get involved in the London sevens event is incredible. The atmosphere in Twickenham stadium and down at the Stoop is an experience in itself. At both the stadium and down at the Stoop the guys have done a great job in getting people interested, and building momentum for the big day. It's incredible to hear people shouting and screaming all day as well as getting involved in the annual theme. I'm really excited to see how people dress for this year's Galactic theme. Every year the fancy dress is amazing. It's the only tournament where getting the train to the stadium and sitting down next to an alien, or someone in a morph suit is expected. It's a fantastic experience and a brilliant day out.
If I Had To Dress Up..
I was thinking about what I would dress up as if I was going and I think I would go for the easy option and stick a morph suit on or go as an alien. Watching the boys do their video with the Star Wars characters was hilarious, so maybe I would go as a Star Wars character.
The Home Crowd
There's nothing like playing in front of a home crowd, it's an amazing experience. The closest we've come to the Twickenham crowd you'll get is the Hong Kong crowd and that's because it's a bunch of expats so it's basically like playing in front of a home crowd. After a game when the crowd want to speak to you and shake your hand it's a really great feeling. I know it is cliché but they really are the 13th member of the squad. I can't explain the feeling of running on the pitch with the crowd wanting to be on the pitch with you, helping you through the game. It's hard to put into words.
The Sevens Game
I love the sevens game and really recommend giving it a go. If you have any apprehensions to begin with, try your hand at some touch or tag and get used to the game, the shape of the ball and the rules. I've always played sport, starting with football and basketball, but rugby seemed to encompass all of the best traits into one sport on one field. There's this real team comradery with rugby that I've never experienced in any other sport. It's not like anything else you do.
If you want to attend this year's Women's Sevens World Series at the Twickenham Stoop tickets are still available at www.quins.co.uk. Tickets for the Marriott London Sevens (Sunday only) are available at www.englandrugby.com/tickets/
I look forward to seeing you there!
Check out the England Men and England Women battling it out to create the best galactic outfitSuggest a correction