Winning when it matters the most, developing the depth of leadership in the squad and shouldering expectation are all topics that are high on the agenda of the Vitality Roses’ head coach Jess Thirlby.

Thirlby took time out of their first camp in Sedbergh to speak exclusively to Sky Sports and was energised and excited by the challenge that lies ahead.

The head coach used her opening camp to start to share her vision with her players but was also acutely aware that she wants this vision to develop with her playing group.

“Winning when it matters the most is that next bit for me. I think that you can win the odd game in between major tournaments but ultimately you’ve got an England group now that are more determined than ever to keep experiencing success.

“We know in sport, as soon as you win everyone expects you to keep on winning. Everybody is up for that challenge.”

Nat Panagarry (left) and Fran Williams are two of the more experienced players working under the head coach right now Nat Panagarry (left) and Fran Williams are two of the more experienced players working under the head coach right now Nat Panagarry (left) and Fran Williams are two of the more experienced players working under the head coach right now

Since being announced in the role, the former international has spoken openly about the challenge of starting a new four-year cycle in the shadow of the last.

“Yes we should identify with the successes of the Roses and celebrate them but we each need to earn our right to have similar or more success,” Thirlby stated.

“We can’t just lean on that, inherit that and expect it to just continue. The expectation is on our shoulders now, that’s the great thing about sport is that there’s nowhere to hide.

“Everyone expects England now to be able to topple over the Aussies, South Africans, Jamaicans and Kiwis at some point because we’ve now proven that we can do it. It’s about doing it consistently.

“That’s a massive challenge for any sports team, getting to the top is one thing but then staying there is another. I’m really embracing that challenge. I’ve learnt in myself that I don’t like anything easy. I’ve most probably walked into the job at a good time based on that!”