Jasmine Joyce targets a place in the Great Britain squad for the Tokyo Olympic Games, and she is not taking it for granted.
Although she is only one of the four Olympians in the 19 player training group. she insists that “no one’s safe” when is comes to selection. Joyce and the other three ladies made their Olympic debut in the inaugural rugby event Olympic Games.
“Competition is through the roof and I don’t think anyone could call who’s going,” she told World Rugby. “It’s just going to push us to get even better and be the best player we can be in six months’ time.”
She is also excited to be able to call herself a double Olympian if she gets selected, its only 100 days to go and its getting closer and closer every minute.
“It would be insane,” she told World Rugby. “I’m trying not to think about it, as in selection process-wise, and just enjoy the moment of being a full-time rugby player.
“But obviously, it’s always there in the back of your mind. ‘What can I do to be on the plane?’ ‘How how can I make sure I’m there?’ and stuff, but, to go to a second Olympics would be mental.
“Growing up playing rugby since I was seven and then potentially having the opportunity to go to two Olympics would be something you just don’t even think about when you’re seven years old… it would be amazing.”
Joyce admits that their close defeat to the Canadians in the Rio Olympics at the bronze medal finals would provide ample motivation for the returning Great Britain players this July in Tokyo.
“[There’s] definitely some unfinished business,” she said. “It’s hard coming fourth, really hard.
“I think that’s probably one of the hardest positions you can come because you’re so close to actually getting a medal.
“But, again, trying not to think that far ahead, we’re going there to win gold, not bronze… gold is what we’re going for.”
She has been spending her time between the Great Britain camps in Loughborough and the Women’s Six Nations in France, where she played 80 minutes in the outskirts of Cardiff and a trip to France playing for the Welsh team.
Joyce signed a contract as part of the perk of being in the training squad and she says she already feels the benefits with life as a full-time pro, even if its only been a month. “It’s such a massive difference,” Joyce said.
“Even the physios are saying that I’m so much more stretchy, flexible and stuff like that because we’ve been given the opportunity to recover, we have downtime where we can recover.”
She added: “I’m in a really fortunate position now to call rugby my job, which is what I’ve wanted for so long.”