Dani is a regular on the team sheet for Lakenham Ladies thanks to her prowess on the pitch and an infective positive attitude. Dani had several games as captain last season, was voted player of the match regularly, as well as taking home the trophy for Player's Player of the year at our end of season awards ceremony. Let's find out a bit more about her...
Name: Dani AKA Denny
When did you start playing rugby and why?
I had one season of youth rugby when I was 9/10yrs old and then came back to the sport when I was 18. A massive pull was the social aspect of rugby, people from all walks of life and all different capabilities all gel so well and make for a really rounded group of people and a great support network not only on the pitch but in every day life too.
Can you remember your first training session or game with Lakenham?
Yes, I felt totally bemused by the sport and all the rules but it was a really fun group of girls and nothing was taken too seriously. Everyone made me feel welcome and invited me back the following week.
What do you like to eat before a match?
As little as possible because it has a habit of making its way back up again ?
How do you calm your pre-match nerves?
Lots of prematch nervous poops! Also lots of power ballads and banter in the changing rooms.
What training sessions or drills do you like best?
I like simple drills the most because I’m a bit dense. Can’t go wrong with a bit of touch rugby, some rugby netball or punting the ball back and forth to each other.
What three qualities are most important for succeeding in your position or rugby in general?
- Power- getting off the back of the scrum not only quickly but with some strength behind you to nail that first hit.
- Communication- being 8 puts me in a good position to communicate between the pack (forwards) and the backs so it’s important to use that to our advantage and make sure everyone on the pitch knows the play and what part they have to play.
- Patience- handy in all aspects of rugby not just my position. Mistakes happen and it’s important to remember this is not only your hobby but everyone else’s too. We aren’t professionals, no one gets paid to be there, so being patient with yourself; your team, the opposition and the ref is really key in everyone enjoying themselves.
What has been your favourite rugby social?
Honestly, there are so many special moments to note but recently we did a street dance themed class in one of our “rugby break out” sessions and it was pure hilarity from start to finish. Safe to say none of us are auditioning for strictly come dancing anytime soon.
What do you do outside of rugby?
I cycle a fair bit and usually try and see some of the team outside of rugby once a week for a catch up or little gossip.
Finally, can we have two truths and one lie?
- I’ve been in a Bollywood movie
- I’ve never been carded during a game
- I’ve played both prop and winger during the space of one game.
Thanks to Dani for sharing all that with us! You can catch the 18/19 season Player's Player of the year in action again at our first match of the new season on Sunday 8th September at our Hilltops ground. If you've been inspired to give it a go, get in touch and you can be part of the pride! #LakenhamLionesses