Georgie wants to sow seeds for Great Britain success

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Georgie Lingham hopes to sow the seeds for future success during her latest adventure with the Great Britain women’s rugby squad this weekend.The 28-year-old gardener from West Norfolk is part of the GB squad taking part in the Makarska 7s in Croatia.The tournament is the last major event ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, which start at the end of July.Lingham said: “It’s an amazing opportunity to pull on the GB shirt again. I’ve been working hard all season to get back out there and I’m very excited.”I’m grateful to be given this opportunity to play and I’m so excited to show the coaches and team what I can do and bring as a player.”I feel some pressure ahead of the Olympics but I’m sure all the other girls will be feeling the same. We just need to concentrate on playing as a team and creating some more special moments.”Great Britain face Portugal in their opening game in Pool C tomorrow before facing Italy in the afternoon. Their third and final game is against Poland on Saturday before the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final over the remainder of the weekend.Team GB women’s rugby sevens team won gold at the European Games last summer – beating Poland in the final – to book their place at the Paris 2024 Olympics. “We’ve faced Poland before in the Rugby Europe Cup and they are a tough hard-hitting team, “admitted Lingham.”But we have some class players and the team will be playing the same structure from the World Series. “Hopefully we’ll maintain our standards and play our game. These tournaments are very important before the Olympics. As a team, we want to drive the performance of our players to such a high level and use it as a platform for the girls going to Paris.”We want the team to be in the best shape possible to bring home a medal.” Lingham is back in the national fold after recovering from an injury earlier in the year to help West Norfolk Warriors to Norfolk Cup success at Diss.”I’ve played in Dubai, Cape Town and then Hong Kong where unfortunately I broke my hand tackling a player,” she said. “After five weeks off, I returned to full contact and played for West Ladies in the Norfolk Cup.”It was then back into GB camp to prep for Croatia. It was hard being in a hand cast for two weeks with my work as a gardener but my clients were great and very understanding. “The physiotherapy department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was great and I can’t thank them enough for their support with my recovery.”The North Wootton native still harbours hopes of making the Team GB squad for the Olympic Games in Paris later in the summer but there will be no negativity on her part if she isn’t one of the chosen few.”In the next few weeks I’ve got to speak with the coach about contracts next season and potentially being involved with GB for the Olympics,” she said.”It’s a 12-women squad with two reserves. You never know what can happen in rugby and I’ve got my fingers crossed, but whatever the selection I’m proud to have been part of the GB team for two seasons and on their journey to the Olympics.”It takes the whole squad of 24 to make the best 12 for the tournament and I’ll be cheering them on all the way.”Women’s rugby has never been in a better place and, while Lingham’s career continues to flourish, she gains just as much satisfaction from inspiring others to play and become involved with the sport.”It inspires me to do so much more,” she revealed.”The last five years have been incredible for women’s rugby in Norfolk from the girls’ section thriving and the women’s team putting a stamp on West Norfolk.”These women are so powerful and full of love for the game and each other. We give so much back into the community and the next generation.””I have met a lot of amazing people and created lasting friendships which I would have never have had if it wasn’t for rugby.”I’m so grateful to the club, coaches, players and my team-mates who have been by my side on the journey.”

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