'Nice mix of Welsh, Scottish and English in PWR final'

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It has already been a great week for Wales international Alisha Butchers and her wife Jasmine Joyce.

Joyce was confirmed in the Team GB sevens squad for the Olympics, and now Butchers wants to put the cherry on top of an excellent few days herself at the weekend.

On Saturday, Butchers, the 27-year-old back-rower, is set to have a big part to play as Bristol Bears take on defending champions Gloucester-Hartpury in the Premiership Women’s Rugby final at Sandy Park.

Since Butchers helped Wales end the Guinness Women’s Six Nations on a high note with a win over Italy in the Principality Stadium in April she has been in fine form for her club, none more so than in the play-off semi-final away at Saracens earlier this month.

On Wednesday, Butchers' wife Joyce, also a Wales international, was given the nod to head to her third Olympics in Paris in July and August and now it could be Butchers' time to shine.

“I am really looking forward to this weekend,” Butchers said.

“Sometimes as an athlete you just have to take a step back and realise how far you have come and, as an individual and as a club, I think things have moved on a lot in recent years.

“This is the first time I have reached the Premiership final so it is very special for me and my family so I am just trying to soak up everything and enjoy it while also making sure I am in the right frame of mind to perform at the weekend.

“Yes, we have made the final, but we have one last big game to play against tough opponents so by the time kick-off comes around those 80 minutes will be the sole focus.

“Since I moved to Bristol a few years ago I have seen how much of an impact rugby has in the local community, and with us going up against one of the clubs quite near us in Gloucester-Hartpury, it should make for a great occasion at Sandy Park with plenty of supporters there.

“I think there will be a big crowd there because this league is amazing and we want to show that to as many people as possible.”

In the aforementioned play-off semi-final 21-29 triumph at Saracens, Butchers at six, Scotland cap Evie Gallagher at seven and player of the match Rownita Marston-Mulhearn at No.8 played a big part in getting their team over the line.

The trio will likely be important again on Saturday against a strong Gloucester-Hartpury pack and Butchers said: “I love playing with them because they are both incredible players and it is nice to have a mix of Welsh, Scottish and English in there as well.

“I think that the attacking game plan that the Bears has really helps us as back-rowers while we all bring different skills to the table and try and do our bit for the team as individuals and as a unit.”

Butchers is very close friends with the likes of Bethan Lewis and Hannah Jones who she is likely to be coming up against in the final.

“I speak to the girls all of the time,” she explained.

“These girls are like sisters to me, but rugby-wise we are used to training and playing against each other all of the time so it comes quite naturally to us.

“We are quite professional when it comes to that and the whistle blows and all we want to do is showcase the best of women’s rugby, so if that means we are playing against each other then we just get on with it.

“I just think it is really exciting that there are a number of Welsh players who could be involved in this final. We didn’t have the best Six Nations as a national team, but we always want to show the best of Welsh rugby and hopefully we can at the weekend.”

Butchers and Wales have a WXV play-off match with Spain to come at Cardiff Arms Park on June 29 to decide who goes into WXV 2 and who goes into WXV 3 later in the year - but for now she is only thinking about potentially winning a title with the Bears.