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Work hard, play rugby hard: Lindsey Smith – Scotland Women’s Rugby

Work hard, play rugby hard:  Lindsey Smith – Scotland Women’s Rugby

Playing international Test rugby is certainly not all fun and games but as Scotland Women’s Lindsey Smith can testify a little laughter can go a long way to lifting team spirits.

Playing international Test rugby is certainly not all fun and games but as Scotland Women’s Lindsey Smith can testify a little laughter can go a long way to lifting team spirits.

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The 28-year-old, who plays at hooker, explains the importance of lightening the mood in the build up to a big match in order to ease the nerves.

“I don’t really like it if it is too quiet before a match,” she said. “I like it when there is a bit of a buzz around the team, with everyone getting excited, then to have a bit of a laugh too.

“So, everyone can get a bit more relaxed. If it is too quiet, I like to wind it up a bit.”

An important aspect of boosting morale is also integrating new squad members.

Smith added: “With the new girls coming into the squad this year, it is good to have them joining in with the rest of the existing squad members.
“It is great to have a laugh and a joke with each other as it really helps us to get to know each other.”

So, how exactly does the Scottish Women’s team get laughing? It would seem the ice is broken through the use of some candid camera and karaoke.

“Sometimes we have a video camera we take around, sometimes we will play a few jokes on some people, sometimes just for a laugh we like to make squad videos,” continued Smith.

“They are the sorts of things we would tie in together to encourage the newer players in the team, so they can feel a bit more part of it.”

Team bonding is a serious business but it would seem, from Smith’s perspective, if you can have fun while getting to know each other it can make all the difference.

Chuckling, she said: “We have done some music videos before, some of them have actually been quite a good and we get quite laugh out of looking back on them together.

“It is something that we do that works really well to encourage everyone to come together. The last song we covered was PJ and Duncan’s Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!”

A member of the current extended Scotland Women’s squad that Smith will not have to work too hard to get to know is her younger sister Sarah, who plays on the wing and has been capped for Scotland Women’s sevens.

Smith grew up in Inverness but now lives in Glasgow where she works as Rugby Development Officer.

This is a career path which is popular amongst players in the Six Nations Women’s Tournament, with the likes of Ireland’s Nora Stapleton and Marie Louise Reilly working for the IRFU and England’s Sarah Hunter working for the RFU growing and promoting the sport they play at international level from grass roots.

An extra element of Smith’s brief is to work as Girls’ Rugby Co-Ordinator for the West of Scotland.

This is an aspect of her job that means a lot to her: “My big passion is to get more girls playing rugby,” she added.

An example of how Smith works with the SRU to promote rugby to a younger female audience is through sevens blitzes aimed mainly at 12 and 13-year-olds of mixed sporting abilities.

“You won’t have to have played much before, we will teach you everything you need to know in the morning and then in the afternoon it is game time,” said Smith.

“A block of these training days will lead to a tournament or festival. We will try to get some pro players along to these. We try to make it a big event.”

A tournament at the pinnacle of the women’s game is the Six Nations. Smith’s perspective as both a player and someone working in the development of the sport shines through.

“Playing in the Six Nations is really good because we are aligned to the men’s tournament as well, so we get a lot more coverage than we normally would, as we have the same sponsors as our men’s team.

“You get a buzz out of it because you are part of a big tournament and it gives you the opportunity to play against other countries, so you can test yourself against them to see how you compare, then you can get better.

“A big thing for me is the enjoyment, getting to meet new people, playing at the highest level you can with your mates.”

The philosophy here it would seem is work hard, play rugby hard while enjoying yourself at the same time.

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