Jasmine Joyce column: Wales’s best finish since years, court fines, and cruises

Jaz column

Jasmine Joyce, Olympic Sevens star and Wales wing, writes in her final column for BBC Sport 2022 Six Nations about Wales's best finish in 13 Years, the tournament's overall success, and being fined at Kangaroo Court!

It is not nice to lose.

While it would be great to close the campaign with victory over Italy before our home fans was, we need to see the bigger picture.

Our best result since 2009 was third in the Six Nations. This is an absolutely amazing achievement.

Before becoming a professional, my training was to become a teacher. If I were to continue teaching, I would most likely give Wales a C. While it is clear that we passed the test there are many things that need to be done to make us reach the A or A star grades.

We're now in the midst of a few months before we head to the World Cup in Oct. We will be attending training camps in Canada, England, and hoping to build on our Six Nations performances in opposition to the best teams in the globe.

Jasmine Joyce
Jasmine Joyce launches an attack on Italy in Wales' final Six Nations Game

Six Nations with the Best Record

The tournament has been a great success on and off the pitch. The competition is improving every year, thanks to more professional teams.

It has been very competitive between the four countries of Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Yes, France and England are ahead of the rest, but it will take time to close that gap.

We showed how far we've come in just a few short months in the first half against England, and in the second against France.

We will fly if we have a few more contracts before or after the World Cup.

It has been a huge success for us to have our own tournament. We had a record crowd in Cardiff for Scotland's game, and England had several record crowds.

No matter what, we take the time to meet with fans after every game. It is wonderful to get comments like, “You've made my little girl/boy want to play rugby.” We do it because we want to win. We want to play for Wales. But we also want to inspire the next generation.

Jasmine Joyce and Keira Bevan
Jasmine Joyce celebrates her win with Keira Bevan, try-scorer

Judgement day

It has been the best campaign for Wales in a long time. We won two bonus points over Ireland, Scotland and the environment is fantastic.

We all play well together, so there are no cliques and you can sit at a table with any player. The coaches are also a credit, as they are easy to talk with and approachable.

Although we didn't finish the game against Italy as we wanted, we still enjoyed Super Saturday. After the game, we joined our families and friends for hospitality and watched England defeat France.

Although I don't know how many of us were able to visit Ireland Scotland, there had been quite a few! After a difficult few weeks, it was so refreshing to see everyone let their hair down and relax.

We had kangaroo court, and we dealt with all the fines. They do random things all throughout the tournament. I was honest to say that I was one of the worst offenders.

I don't know how many, but one was where Gwen Crabb had her hair done really well for England and was fined for having ‘wedding hair'. She had to wear a veil the entire day.

Cruising into summer

Now I'm heading back to Bristol Bears, where there are a few big games to end the Premier 15s season.

Harlequins plays us on Saturday at Ashton Gate. In the past, we have sold approximately 4,000 tickets. So it will be like an international fixture.

Then, June brings us a whole month off. It seems like Christmas since I had my last week off. I'm looking forward to this. It will be a relaxing time since we have booked a cruise.

As Wales' pre-season training is set to begin in July, I believe we will need some rest.

Jasmine Joyce was speaking with Ceri Coleman Phillips from BBC Sport Wales.

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