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Great Britain's women rugby players boosted by pep talk from Sir Clive Woodward

Published 04/08/2016

Katy McLean will be an integral part of Great Britain's bid for Olympic success in the women's rugby sevens tournament
Katy McLean will be an integral part of Great Britain's bid for Olympic success in the women's rugby sevens tournament

England World Cup winner Katy McLean is relishing the Olympics challenge that awaits Great Britain's women rugby players in Rio.

McLean has been joined by 2014 World Cup colleagues Emily Scarratt, Danielle Waterman and Natasha Hunt in a British squad set to be major medal challengers when the 12-team tournament kicks off on Saturday.

And after arriving in Rio from the Team GB training camp, McLean and company mean business.

They were able to have a chat with England's 2003 World Cup mastermind Sir Clive Woodward at training this week, and McLean believes the mood in the squad is spot-on, two days out from an opening pool clash against host nation Brazil in Deodoro.

"The preparation camp was a real opportunity for us to arrive and be around other athletes, and as a squad, we picked up our intensity in training," McLean told Press Association Sport.

"Coming here to Rio now, it's all just fine-tuning, making sure people are in the right place and everybody knows their roles. It feels really good.

"Clive is doing some commentary and television work here, and it was great to be able to speak with someone of such experience during what is such an exciting time for us as individuals, but also our sport."

McLean and the likes of Scarratt, who captains the British team, offer vast experience that could prove crucial when the heat comes on during three days of intense competition.

"The World Cup win feels like years ago, now," McLean added.

"As a squad, we know how we want to play, but as much as you can get caught in this bubble of the Olympics and everything else, come Saturday, we know Brazil are first-up for us and then Japan, and that's what we are focused on and what we need to do.

"Definitely, the confidence of actually going to a World Cup and winning, you know you can deliver the big performances.

"You talk about mentality and wanting to get that edge. We know we are in a good place, and we have proved that in the past.

"We are so used to going to just rugby tournaments - World Cups and sevens tournaments - and you are just around rugby.

"For us now, we are part of Team GB and you are around athletes from other sports. I've spent the majority of the time here just staring at people!

"But the biggest thing as a squad is we have to keep remembering we are here to perform. We have just got to make sure that we stick to our planning and processes.

"There have been so many different winners in the World Series this year.

"Australia and New Zealand have got to be the favourites - their consistency of form has been phenomenal this year - and you have got the likes of us, Canada, USA and the hosts Brazil. We are all looking forward to it."

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