LYDIA THOMPSON is relishing the prospect of welcoming a home Worcester crowd to Sixways when England take on USA this weekend.
The resurgent Red Roses have been in sensational form in recent weeks, thumping Canada 51-12 at Twickenham Stoop this weekend after back-to-back victories over New Zealand.
And those wins against the Kiwis included a dominant 56-15 win at Franklin’s Gardens and saw the Red Roses rack up a whopping 99 points in two games.
Simon Middleton’s side do battle with the USA at Sixways – the home of Worcester Warriors – on Sunday and Thompson, who represents the club in the Allianz Premier 15s, is anticipating a raucous crowd to get the place rocking.
The 29-year-old said: “Worcester always attracts some fantastic crowds – and even playing there in the Premiership, we’re getting great crowds coming in.
“I just can’t wait to play international rugby and put on an international game for the crowds, it’ll be really special.
“There are lots of true rugby fans there, so it’s a really cool opportunity for us.
“We’ve got a really positive vibe at the moment, we’re really proud of what the team has achieved but also we’ve reflected a lot.
“We left points out there, we know we can improve, which is so exciting. I think it’s a great place to be where you know that actually we’ve got more time together and can grow from here.”
England cruised past New Zealand 43-12 at Sandy Park before sending a similarly buoyant crowd into raptures with that emphatic triumph over the same opponents in Northampton.
And they carried on where they left off at the Stoop on Sunday by running in seven tries against the Canadians to stretch their winning streak to 17 games.
Thompson is grateful for every single fan and wants the Red Roses’ thrilling performances to inspire the next generation.
She added: “We definitely missed fans last season.
“You just can’t describe how important they are I think, when you run out there, the atmosphere they create, we just really, really appreciate that.
“We really want to inspire and get as many girls and boys to play rugby or to follow their dreams.
“To see so many people in the crowd was really, really special and with the noise they make, it was brilliant.”
Middleton’s team will aim to extend their winning streak at Sixways on Sunday and solidify their superiority as the world’s No.1 side.
They will face a stern test against the Americans, however, who sit five places behind them in the official rankings and reached the semi-finals of the 2017 World Cup.
The English game is jam-packed with a raft of US talent including Alycia Washington at Worcester and Kate Zackary at Exeter.
And Thompson reckons that transatlantic cocktail can only be a force for good, adding: “To see some of the top players in the world go against each other is an amazing opportunity.
“We’ve been really lucky at Worcester to have Alycia come over to play with us this season – she has been spectacular.
“Her running game and the power she can bring in the scrum [is amazing], so I’m so excited for her to show what she can do in a USA shirt.
“Then obviously you’ve got other Premiership players like Kate who’s been at Exeter, who’s been fantastic for her club.
“It will be awesome to see players who play in the Premiership pull on their national shirts and really have a strong and competitive game.
“We’re really, really excited about it, and as a Red Roses team we’re just looking forward to obviously taking each game as it comes. Looking at the USA, it’s going to be really, really good competition for us.”
PLEASE LEAVE IN FINAL PAR – England Women take on the USA in the their final autumn international at Sixways Stadium, Worcester (Sunday, 21 November, kick-off 2.45pm). Tickets are available here: https://www.warriors.talent-sport.co.uk/PagesPublic/ProductBrowse/ProductHome.aspx?ProductSubType=H005