It’s not long since Faye Gaskin was running out for Thatto Heath.
On Friday, she will be playing for England in a World Cup at a 30,000 capacity Stadium in Australia.
Many of Gaskin’s team-mates share similar stories, such is the remarkable rise of the Women’s game, which has taken further strides forward through the World Cup Nines, which will see the women get equal pay to their male counterparts.
But while in years to come the tour will be reminisced on as yet another historic point in the current movement, Gaskin and co aren’t allowing themselves to do that now.
The Nines presents an opportunity to be crowned World Champions. A four-team tournament, made up of England, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, is a chance to test themselves on a global stage.
Gaskin, the St Helens halfback, is ready to take that opportunity.
“I feel we’re ready to take on the best countries in the world at this sport,” she said.
“We have every right to think we can win this as much as any other squad. We’ve a talented camp of girls, we’ve worked hard to be here and I believe we can win it. We’re not just here to participate, we’re representing our country and a lot of people back at home. That’s who we’re going to do it for.
“The feeling is really positive, it’s one of the most positive tours I’ve been on. The cohesion is strong, it’s a real good vibe, and coming to the Nines gives us an extra buzz and it’s doing something that’s unknown.
“I was speaking to Georgia (Roche) about it and I told her I had a dream about winning it. We had a drop goal on the left side of the pitch and we nailed it. We had 30 seconds to defend and we won. I turned around and said we can do this.”