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Rollie: Lightning already feels like home

Chloe Rollie is a fresh face in Loughborough Lightning’s squad and the Scottish fullback is thankful for all the help she has had from her new teammates when it comes to settling in. 

The 27-year-old knew when we she signed for Lightning earlier in the month that she would be playing alongside some girls she was familiar with – six of her fellow Scotland internationals were already at the Club. 

But Rollie has been taken aback by how quickly she was made to feel part of the family at Loughborough, where players from nations such as England, Wales, Canada and Australia all come together. 

She certainly wasted no time in making an impression as she scored one of Lightning’s seven tries on her debut against DMP Sharks, a 41-7 success for Rhys Edwards’ side at Epinal Way. 

In what was her first game since breaking an arm while playing for Scotland at last autumn’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, Rollie was quickly on the scene to pick up and cross the whitewash, after a surging run by Lauren Bolger, to give the hosts their bonus-point score. 

Rollie, who played for Exeter Chiefs last season, said: “I’ve settled in great. It’s obviously lucky that I’ve got a few Scots down here with me, but it’s been way easier than it maybe would have been in the past, going to other teams. 

“I’ve been really welcomed in – all the girls, not just the Scots, are lovely people and they’ve made me feel really welcome. 

“They’ve been inviting me along to things and told me if there was any sporting arena I could go and watch on my off-days, and stuff, so it’s been amazing. 

“They’ve been so welcoming and it’s kind of like a home from home already, even though I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks.”

Chloe Rollie

Rollie admit Loughborough’s partnership with Northampton Saints was part of the lure of signing for them, as they look to push their way up the Allianz Premier 15s table after a difficult start to the season. 

Her next home game will bring her to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday, February 18 when Lightning will face Sale Sharks in a double header after Saints face their male counterparts in the Gallagher Premiership. 

Rollie said: “I’ve never played at Franklin’s Gardens before but it looks really cool and I’m excited to get there and play a game there. 

“It’s amazing for Loughborough Lightning to be allowed to play there, it looks like a good stadium and it’s nothing less than the women deserve now. 

“The rugby is going up, performances are going up and the backing from all the different organisations is on the up as well. 

“It’s cool for the team and it’s cool for just the image on the outside [of the sport] for fans to come along to the stadium and watch the women play there is great.” 

First and foremost, however, Rollie will be aiming to help Loughborough record back-to-back league victories for the first time this season when they face Worcester Warriors at Sixways on Saturday. 

Warriors are immediately above Lightning in the Premier 15s table (seventh) having fought on gamely since their men’s team went into administration at the end of September. 

Rollie said: “I think it’s going to be a tough battle. I’ve played Worcester before many times and they’re in a tough place, but they’ve definitely got heart. 

“They always look to come out firing and they’re tough opposition who are capable of putting in amazing performances and getting wins. 

“I think, for us, we need to focus on what we’re going to do – there’s obviously a little bit of a disconnect here and there with the players coming in and out, with injuries, or just selection in general. 

“Hopefully the rugby will do the talking and we’ll get the win at the end.” 

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