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Field relishing adjustment to life as a Lightning starter

Young Loughborough Lightning hooker Bryony Field admits she has had plenty of growing up to do on the field this season. 

Last summer’s departure of England international Lark Davies to Bristol Bears left 22-year-old Field as one of Lightning’s senior players in her position, and gave her extra responsibility. 

While she has revelled in the increasing playing time she has received during the campaign, Field has had to work extremely hard at the training ground on preparing herself for the greater physical demand this has brought. 

She has also had to learn how to deal with the pressure of throwing in line-outs during tight situations, but she feels the mentoring she received from Davies put her in the best possible position to step up. 

Field said: “It’s definitely been a pretty big step – Lark left some pretty big boots to fill – and obviously coming off the bench a lot in my earlier Lightning career is very different to starting games and getting regular game time.

“It’s about adapting to that and finding ways which I can add from the very start of a game and take it through to the final whistle, which is what needs to happen.”

Bryony Field

“I think Lark really helped to mentor me through the years that she was here and even getting the opportunity to train with someone like her helped develop me to a place where I felt, this season, I was ready to step into that starting spot more frequently. 

“I just want to keep working on my own performance where I can just keep on building my game and skill set so that maybe one day I can play alongside her at a higher level.” 

It is unsurprising that Field has aspirations of playing international rugby at senior level, after representing England up to Under-20 level – she has already trained with Simon Middleton’s Red Roses squad in order to gain experience. 

She has recently had to compete for the No.2 jersey with another international in Maja Meuller, who is predominantly a back rower but has started Loughborough’s last two matches. 

Field, however, played a starring role off the bench in their 17-10 victory over Sale Sharks at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens last Saturday.

It was her two tries that allowed her team to come from behind and pick up their third win of the season in the Allianz Premier 15s, continuing the ‘comeback theme’ of the day after Northampton Saints’ epic triumph over Sale’s male counterparts. 

Field said: “It was a great occasion, obviously, the Double Header meant it was a pretty big crowd. It’s not something the girls are always used to, having so many people watching, and it helped feed the energy within the team. 

“I was happy with the way it went when I came on, it felt like I made an impact and I did what I set out to do personally. 

“Hopefully I can just bring the same energy to the squad in the coming weeks, whether it’ll be starting or off the bench. I’ll just look to add to the game in as many ways as possible.”

Bryony Field

With Meuller on international duty with Sweden for their Women’s European Championship match against Spain this weekend, Field is set to return to the starting line-up for Lightning’s game at Exeter Chiefs on Saturday. 

It is likely to be a tough test for Rhys Edwards’ side at Sandy Park against the league leaders, who defeated them 54-5 in the reverse fixture at the Gardens back in December. 

Field said: “I’m very happy to be back there [from the start] and it gives me the opportunity to get a good run-out. 

“It’s just about making sure that I’m completely concentrated in training this week and making sure I’ve prepped myself as best as possible to see the game through, and help us carry on building the performances we’ve given prior to this week.”

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