'You lose that adrenaline buzz' - Ireland scrum-half Dane on juggling the Six Nations with work, women's game growth and learning Ireland's Call

Dane has been dividing her time between the Six Nations and her work as a physiotherapist
Dane has been dividing her time between the Six Nations and her work as a physiotherapist

If Ireland beat England at Twickenham on Sunday, the players will enjoy an evening of celebrations and a much-needed recovery day on Monday.

Life isn't quite so accommodating for Kathryn Dane, however.

Like her male compatriots, Dane also faces the prospect of a huge Six Nations clash against England on Sunday.

But should the scrum-half help Ireland to victory at Castle Park in Doncaster, she'll do so in the knowledge that a 07:00 alarm clock awaits her the next morning.

Such is life for a part-time rugby player.

Dane, who is set to earn her ninth Ireland cap against table-toppers England on Sunday, is well-adjusted to an unforgiving schedule. For her, it's an endless cycle of work and rugby.

And while the 23-year-old embraces the various commitments in her life, the Enniskillen native admits that the prospect of heading back into work on a Monday morning can dampen post-match celebrations.

"When I look at myself, I had to go back to a 07:00 start after beating Wales on the Sunday," Dane, who juggles Ireland international duty with her job as a physiotherapist, told Sportsound Extra Time.

Dane helped Ireland to Six Nations victories over Scotland and Wales in their first two games of the campaign
Dane helped Ireland to Six Nations victories over Scotland and Wales in their first two games of the campaign

"With that, you don't really get a chance to let that sink in or you forget about the adrenaline buzz and you don't really get a good night's sleep so you're losing out on that recovery time."

For Dane, there is no hiding from the difference between part-time rugby and a full-time environment like England.

"They're full-time rugby players," added Dane.

"Our camps are maybe from a Thursday to a Sunday, so our time is very condensed within these camps whereas the English players get a full week to train, reflect on their performances and recover."

However, while it may be infuriating not to have that post-match reflection period, Dane is excited to be part of a women's game which is trending upwards thanks to increased participation.

"We're definitely on the way up.

"Particularly with campaigns like this year, we're seeing an increase in the supporter base and we're getting more media coverage.

"It's also lovely to see, especially in Ulster, greater participation among girls, with more clubs having mini girls teams and underage teams.

"It's great to see and I love following the provincial blitzes - I'd love to see more Ulster girls coming through the ranks to hopefully play with me someday."

As the week drags on and we inch closer to Sunday, Dane's nerves and excitement will intensify, but it perhaps won't be until Ireland's Call booms from the Castle Park speakers that her anticipation will hit fever-pitch.

Of course, as Dane admits, getting wrapped up in the moment becomes easier while standing next to Anna Caplice, who has attracted praise on social media for her remarkably passionate performances of the anthem.

"It really gets you going when Anna is in full swing," admits Dane.

"I've been trying to learn the words as I didn't get taught Irish in school, but it helps to have Anna beside to keep me right. I can't get the words wrong when she's belting them out.

"Words can't explain the feeling of singing Ireland's Call in front of a big crowd of people. It's magic and one of the best parts of wearing the green jersey."

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