Jess Breach: England winger takes aim at Wales in Women’s Six Nations after injury woes | Rugby Union News

Winger Jess Breach has been affected by a series of injuries and Covid-19, but is set to finally get back out on the field for the Red Roses in Saturday’s match against Wales in Gloucester

Last Updated: 06/04/22 12:37 pm

Jess Breach is set to return to action for England against Wales on Saturday

Jess Breach is set to return to action for England against Wales on Saturday

Jess Breach is aiming to put her injury troubles behind her once and for all as she prepares to return to the international arena in England’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations clash with Wales.

The Harlequins winger has been beset by ankle, back and shoulder injuries over the past year and was denied the opportunity to pull on the national team’s shirt again in last week’s 74-0 win away to Italy after testing positive for Covid-19.

Breach, who has proved a prolific try-scorer for the Red Roses since grabbing six on her debut against Canada five years ago, is now fully recovered and hopes that will be the last of the issues ahead of Saturday’s showdown at Kingsholm.

“This has probably been the toughest [time] I’ve faced so far, “Breach said.” Two or three seasons ago I had bad family news, but I still got to play which allowed me to switch off from that, but this year has been really tough.

“I thought from my ankle injury I’d be ready to go from the beginning of the season, get some good games underneath going into the autumn, which was not the case, and the back injury made me evaluate rugby and my life after rugby.Even at 24 years old, it made me think what do I want to do and achieve in life?

“Getting Covid last week, I could not really catch a break, but hopefully my bad luck has gone, and I’ll be raring to go for the back end of the season and get a good pre-season under me.”

This weekend’s encounter in Gloucester pits two of the three teams still unbeaten after the opening rounds of this year’s tournament against each other, with Wales having chalked up wins against Ireland and Scotland in their opening two matches.

England, however, go into the match on the back of a 20th-consecutive win after the drubbing inflicted on Italy in Parma – a run head coach Simon Middleton has been urging his players to maintain. However, Breach knows Wales will provide a much stiffer test.

“Midds made that point before the tournament got started about how many wins we’d got and how we could make history,” Breach said.

“Everyone is aware of it, which he wanted, and we’re striving to be the best team and put our best performances out there. If we do that, the winning streak will continue.

“It will be a bit of a tougher game [against Wales] – they’ve gone two from two, and so have we. I think nothing really changes that much, maybe our mindset will shift a bit more because they will definitely be on a high like us.

“So, it’s for us to stay on that high and not get ahead of ourselves by looking ahead to the France game, for instance.”

Being sidelined for the first two rounds of this year’s Six Nations means Breach has had to watch her Red Roses team-mates seize the opportunities they have been afforded in the wide positions.

Abby Dow and Breach’s Quins clubmate Heather Cowell both crossed for tries in the 57-5 win over Scotland, while Sunday’s win over Italy saw Lydia Thompson score a hat-trick and Sarah McKenna add two. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old is delighted with the levels of competition in the squad.

“It’s really important to have strength in depth and to see people get an opportunity, especially if they’ve been playing well in the Prem,” Breach said. “That really showcases what the Prem is about, which is feeding into the England training camp and shirt.

Lydia Thompson scored three tries as England trounced Italy

Lydia Thompson scored three tries as England trounced Italy

“I think we’ve got a really healthy environment with England; everyone is trying to get everyone better and I do not think there is any bad blood between players not getting selected.

“Everyone does like to take their opportunities, like both Lydia and McKenna scored against Italy and took their opportunities and it was the same when Abbie and Heather both played against Scotland.

“Especially in our position, people are taking their opportunities, but I think it’s healthy which is really important and as a back-three unit we’ve worked on having that healthy competitiveness.”

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