Catherine Spencer led her team to a record-breaking Grand Slam in the 2010 RBS 6 Nations
England skipper Catherine Spencer is adamant the hard work starts now ahead of the Women's World Cup.
While there are no summer tours or matches lined up, coach Gary Street has devised an arduous training regime designed to have them firing on all cylinders come the first game against Ireland on August 20.
On the other side of the world England’s main rivals and defending champions New Zealand are embarking on the first of several week-long training camps.
And Spencer knows winning the fitness battle will be akin to winning half the war against the Black Ferns.
“We have a got a lot of get-togethers planned over the next few months aimed at working on our skills and fitness ahead of what should be a very competitive tournament,” said Spencer.
“The goal is to have everyone on top of their game come the first match, because we know that everyone else at this World Cup will be raising their own game 100 per cent, and we know we have to do the same.
“We have done a tremendous amount of work in that area over the last few years and although sometimes it can be painful, it has also been worth it.”
Street will announce his 26-strong World Cup squad on May 4 and Spencer is one of the few shoe-ins to be included.
During their latest RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam winning campaign, Street continually shuffled his pack mixing young guns with wise old heads.
And Bristol No.8 Spencer admits she does not envy being in Street’s position.
She added: “So many players put their hand up for selection during the Six Nations, Gary has got some really hard choices to make and there are going to be very some very disappointed players.
“It’s an odd feeling for us at the moment with selection still undecided so everyone is keeping their fingers crossed that their name will be on that all-important squad list.”