England rugby sensation Hannah Gallagher praises national team's strength in depth

PUBLISHED: 14:08 16 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:08 16 February 2015

Hannah Gallagher looks for a pass after being tackled

Hannah Gallagher looks for a pass after being tackled

Archant

Hannah Gallagher says it great to see the next wave of players come through the ranks of England Women's Rugby.

The Saracens flanker, who scored one of her country’s six tries in the 39-7 defeat of Italy at the weekend, is still only 23 herself, but with 22 caps for her country considers herself to be one of the side’s more senior players.

The former Welwyn Rugby Club player has recently been joined in the England set-up by another ex-Welwyn player, 19-year-old Sydney Gregson, and both started Sunday’s game at the Stoop.

Ten of England’s 23-player squad have fewer than five caps each, and speaking of the new influx of players Gallagher said: “It’s great [to see them in the squad].

“I was capped myself at 19 and I know the huge pressure it has, especially coming into a big Six Nations [tournament]. They are really stepping up and it’s really exciting to have that youth.

“When you’ve got the old heads in the forwards and that youth in the backs, it’s very exciting times.”

Gallagher also spoke of the need for England to get their campaign up and running against Italy following their defeat away to Wales in their opening Six Nations fixture.

Yet despite scoring a smart try when exploiting a gap in the Italian line, Gallagher was modest about her achievement.

“To get a try for your country is incredible, and that’s my fifth now,” Gallagher said.

“We all have shapes that we [set up] and it was a great ball and I was very fortunate to sneak through like that.

“The full-back was a lot quicker than I realised, and I was probably further away [from the line] than I thought I was. I was fortunate to get the ball down.

“We were after an improvement in our performance from last week, and I think we got that.

“It was incredibly difficult. We knew the Italians would fly at us.

“They have a solid defence and they come at you from nowhere. We knew we had to be a lot more patient, which is where we were lacking against Wales.”

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