Kristine Sommer, AKA "Pony" on the attack, ball in hand!
Seattle Saracens caught up with women's squad back row player, Kristine "Pony" Sommer, who has been invited to a camp with the Harlequins in London. An excited Sommer took the time to share some her thoughts on this great opportunity.
Q. What was your first reaction when you found out you'd be getting the chance to go to the Harlequins?
A. I was surprised! Karen Findlay (head coach) approached me in Ireland during World Cup last year, (2017) and I was a little thrown off guard, to be honest. Like, me? Are you sure? I was also instantly excited and completely excited for another opportunity to play high-level rugby.
Q. Who was your first call to when you found out?
A. I was still deciding IF I could swing going over to play with the Quins and make that work with 'real life'. I initially told my dad about the opportunity when I was overseas to see what he thought. It wasn't until recently, once it was real, that I started telling more people.
Q. What are you most looking forward to during your time with the Harlequins?
A. I'm looking to work on my back-row skills and expand my technique and attack in the lineout. I'm also excited for the rugby culture there and to be in an elite athlete environment again!
Q. What do you think will be the greatest challenge during your time in London?
A. My greatest challenge? Getting used to the food! Ha-ha.
Q. Who has been your greatest supporter(s) on this road so far?
A. Everyone has been 100% supportive in my decision to play with the Quins. Especially my current job position, which is allowing me to continue to work remote while I'm there. Definitely leaves less stress knowing you'll still be employed when you return back to the states!
Q. What role or influence did Seattle Saracens Rugby have on your road to London?
A. Seattle Saracens provided me with high-level player infrastructure and support (fields, uniforms, travel assistance, amazing coaches and physios) that allowed me to just focus on playing high level rugby. Seattle Saracens also allowed me to play fast rugby over the border in the BC Premier League. It helped me become familiar with other international players and get accustomed to playing against those players at club level.
Q. What is your favorite moment with Seattle Saracens Rugby?
A. Favorite moment? Probably winning the USA Div. 1 Championship back-to-back. The experience and players for those two teams were amazing. I definitely have some great memories from those games. As clichéd as it sounds, each game where we played until the end and felt like a top-tier team, became my next favorite game. Making it to the final of the BC Premier League in 2017 was surreal. We played some of our best rugby in that game that I hope we can continue into the 2018-2019 season. There are so many socials, ferry rides and practices that bring me so much joy.
Don't worry, I'll be back for more of those in the spring. :)
In August 2017, Harlequins formally launched it women and girls programme. In doing so, the Club reaffirmed its commitment to growing and developing the women’s game by creating a pathway from grassroots to elite international rugby.
Harlequins Women won the inaugural Ladies Premiership in 2017 and were runners up in 2018.