RUGBY star Lark Davies is targeting a 2021 to remember with club and country as she dreams of a Premier, Six Nations and World Cup treble.
The 25-year-old, from Little Hereford, is the joint top scorer in the Women’s Premier 15s for Loughborough Lightning this season, writes Michael Beardmore.
As well as targeting a title tilt with fourth-placed Lightning, who resume their interrupted campaign this weekend, Davies has massive international opportunities on the horizon with England.
The Red Roses will defend their Six Nations title in the spring before heading to New Zealand for the World Cup in September, seeking to wrestle the trophy back from the tournament hosts.
The competition is expected to happen despite the coronavirus pandemic and Davies said: “There’s been a lot of positive reports and we’ve got to keep it in our mind that it’s going to go ahead.
“It would be an incredible experience for me. Our goal is that World Cup – to go and perform there and win it, so we’ve got to keep that at the forefront this year.”
For now, though, the 28-cap hooker is focused on club duties with the Premier 15 returning this Saturday, after a pause due to the new national lockdown, as Loughborough host Bristol.
Davies added: “I’m just really grateful to be playing and have the opportunity to go out with my team each week and still be doing what I love essentially.
“The break was needed for safety and I can completely understand that but we are just all excited to get back into our Premier 15s journey.”
That journey has seen Davies notch 11 tries in 10 games this term but she insists it has been a team effort.
She added: “I think there’s always lots to improve on and it’s a credit to the team around me – we’ve been building each week through our performances at Lightning.
“We want to get to the play-offs, we want to get to the Premier final – the dream, the goal is to go and win that final.
“It’s a really amazing team to be a part of. I think we are building something really special – we’ve got world-class facilities and I’m excited to see what we can do in the next part of the season.”
It is all a far cry from Orleton Primary, where Davies began her journey playing tag rugby before playing for Luctonians and, later, Worcester.
She is now a full-time professional player, centrally contracted by England, having given up her teaching work to commit fully to the game.
“It’s really nice sometimes to look back and appreciate all that you’ve done to get to this point,” she added.
“It’s something you don’t often think about because it’s always the next improvement, the next thing. But it is nice to reflect and shows how far you’ve come from the little 10-year-old playing tag rugby at primary school.”
The Covid crisis has seen the Six Nations switched from its usual February start alongside the men’s event to a few weeks later and Davies thinks this is a good thing.
She added: “It presents some really positive opportunities with it being a standalone event – the hope is that the coverage will be greater and more people will watch rugby and get involved, support from home.
“It’s a really good opportunity for the women’s game to showcase what we’re all about and I’m really excited for it.”