After a success filled three years at Cardiff Met, Cerys Hale finds herself selected in the Wales Women's Rugby squad for the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup. The competition is being held in France with the Welsh girls playing on the 1st, 5th and 9th of August against France, Australia and South Africa respectively. We spoke to Cerys ahead of their first game to find out how she was feeling going into the competition.
Q - Representing your country is a massive achievement and you must be extremely happy to be selected. How are you feeling about your selection and how did you react to the news?
A - It's a huge honour to be selected to travel to France! I still can't quite believe it! The opportunity to gain knowledge and experience at such a huge event is absolutely priceless and I know it's going to be the best experience of my life to date! When I found out I was in work, and had to wait an hour and an half while I was life guarding the pool before I could tell anyone, it was the longest 90 minutes of my life! I obviously cried like a baby, it's still all a whirlwind for me!
Q - What is your group like? and what are your individual, as well as team aims for the tournament?
A -Our pool is the hardest one in the competition and top spot is wide open for any of the four teams to claim. We have France, the host nations, South Afrcia and Australia so it's going to be extremely tough! As a team, we've got hight expectations of ourselves, after all we don't train to come anything but first, but it's vital we put in solid performances for all 3 games because they're teams that will punish us if we're anything less than our best! Personally, my aims for the tournament is purely to gain experience, I go into the World Cup as the only uncapped player in the squad and ideally I would like that to change but if not I know come September I'll be a better player for solely being in the environment.
Q - Do you see it as a positive or negative that the host team France are in your pool?
A - Yes, for us the fact the competition is held in France is significant as their in our pool. Not only do we have to play the home nation, we're playing them first, and it's live on sky sports! It'll be the biggest game of most of the girls lives and it's going to be an incredible day! However, that also gives us an opportunity to make a statement early on, and what better way than to beat the host nations?
Q - How has your time at Cardiff Met helped you reach international status, both academically and through Cardiff Met WRFC?
A- I think my time at Cardiff Met has helped me find myself not only as a person but as a player as well! The environment with Cardiff Met WRFC was always a competitive one both internally, for places, and externally when playing other teams! Being involved in such a successful team allowed me to develop my skills and gain the confidence that I needed to take the step up to being involved in the international set up. Academically, it's encouraged me to aspire to achieve in every walk in life, including my rugby! The organisational skills I gained while completing my degree has helped me through the busy training schedule!
What boots do you wear? Old school kooga rugby boots!
Any pets? I have a dog called Millie, she has a beard so everyone assumes she's a little boy!
Celebrity crush? Mmm I have a list, Vin Diesel and Emma Watson are both up there though!
Worst injury? Luckily I'm not injury prone (touch wood) so my worst injury was a pulled ligament in my ankle I got trying to play football - never have I tried again!
How do you like your eggs? I'm partial to a poached egg!!