Katy Daley-McLean: England must cut out errors against Wales

England ready for Welsh clash (1:37)

Former England centre Tom May reflects on the positives from England's win over Italy as the team prepares to host Wales at Twickenham this weekend. (1:37)

Rugby is a funny game sometimes. When you look back at the Italy score, 42-7 looks like a comfortable win for us, but actually the opening 40 minutes were incredibly tough and we came away feeling like we'd had a really challenging test. Italy are a very good defensive side and we made a lot of errors at the beginning of the match but that's testament to how hard we fought in that first half.

But each game is a learning curve. Some of the girls have never played a tournament for England before, never mind an away game, so there are lots of lessons that we'll carry with us through the rest of the tournament. For us, the main focus for every game is to win.

The Six Nations is a fantastic tournament -- having five fixtures in five weeks means that you get to keep having another go -- against Italy we weren't great, but then five days later you get to go again against different opposition which is really nice and is why the Six Nations is such an important tournament.


The great thing about playing away in Italy or France is that they have great functions afterwards with lots of amazing food and facilities. After the Italy game, the chef of the club presented us with the most sensational cake I've ever seen. It was the size of a TV screen -- a metre by a metre-and-a-half -- and it had the Italy and England badges in the middle and tasted absolutely amazing. It's just a shame for us that it was at the beginning of the tournament and not at the end!


For us, it's really important that we cut out our errors. The standard of women's rugby has improved so much over recent years and gone are the days when you could just coast through games. I think it's important, especially for our younger girls, that we learn that we have to be good, we have to be accurate, because that's the only way you can break down good sides; by building phases.

After every game we will always review our performance and see what lessons can be learnt, what we need to improve on, and looking to see if there was anything that we got very wrong in the game plan that we need to go away and practise. We use travelling time -- on the plane and on the buses -- to analyse the previous match before starting to look ahead to the next games. Predominantly though our focus is on the next game.

The team

The younger girls are great, they bring a bit of youth to the team and good energy. We had a very funny moment in the changing rooms the other day; we were playing music and I put 'Mysterious Girl' on and asked Ellie [Kildunne] who sang it and she said Bob Marley. It was so funny -- we were saying 'how do you not know who Peter Andre is?!'. They are great banter, but more importantly they are fantastic rugby players.

Wales rivalry

Regardless of the sport there is always a massive rivalry between England and Wales and women's rugby is certainly no different. After last year's score [England won 63-0] I think Wales are really going to come out fighting. But we have the advantage of playing at the Stoop this weekend which really feels like playing at home. It's a really nice stadium, a nice size and we're really well supported there.

Team that surprised in round one

The Wales vs. Scotland game was obviously a tough one. It looked like Wales had it in the bag but then Scotland made a late comeback and there was only a point between them at full-time [Wales won 18-17]. But as a player that's what you want, you want the games to be as competitive as possible so that you're playing at the highest level. There were no big scorelines in round one but both England vs. Italy and Wales vs. Scotland were very tough matches.

Most likely to steal your crown

You have to look at France, they set the marker against Ireland [24-0] and Wales have got to be up there too. You have to keep winning every match. So us, France and Wales are in the mix now and you keep moving on and looking ahead to the next game.