|Women’s Six Nations Championship: England v Ireland|
|Venue: Castle Park, Doncaster Date: Sunday, 23 February Kick-off: 12:45 GMT|
|Coverage: Listen to radio commentary on the BBC Sport website; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app.|
The effects of inductive charging on lithium-ion batteries.
When Abby Dow is not scoring eye-catching tries for England, that is what is on her mind.
Apparently it is something to do with wireless chargers and, as the final-year project in her mechanical engineering degree, it is what occupies Dow’s time when she is not in England camp.
The 22-year-old wing impressed with two tries at a snowy Murrayfield in the second round of the Women’s Six Nations, but the match’s postponement from Sunday to Monday meant there was no time to celebrate.
With the lithium-ion batteries calling, Dow was straight back to university in London to continue her experiments on the Tuesday after bad weather meant an overnight coach journey back from Scotland.
“It was the worst-case scenario,” she says. “We had an issue with trying to get home because we couldn’t fit all of us on the flight so we had to drive home.
“I got home early Tuesday morning for me to go in for a 9am tutorial. I got home at about 6pm and went straight to bed.”
‘Real focus’ on World Cup
Dow is preparing to make her third successive Six Nations start against Ireland on Sunday and is the tournament’s top try-scorer this season after playing just once in the competition last year.
The Wasps player secured her starting place in a competitive England back three after impressing in the autumn and her run of form is no accident 19 months out from the World Cup.
Dow is not currently a contracted player and so must keep her options open in case she needs to pursue an engineering rather than rugby career after she graduates in June.
But given her academic pursuits, it is no surprise that Dow has done the appropriate calculations and is ready to fully focus on sport with the World Cup in mind.
“[Last Six Nations] I was coming back from injury and I had university work on,” she explains.
“I’m quite comfortable now in the sense that I don’t need to get the grades I was getting over the last few years. I know the percentages I need to get the grades I want.
“It’s a real focus this year I’ve taken in training prepping up to the World Cup. Hopefully that’s shown on the pitch so I’ve been able to get selection.”
‘Both rugby and engineering need more women’
According to World Rugby statistics from 2016, women accounted for 2.2 million of the 8.5 million rugby players worldwide, while an Engineering UK report in 2018 found 12.37% of all engineers in the UK were women.
Dow says “there was no thought of gender” when she embarked on her careers in both areas. She played rugby because her brother and sister did – Ruth Dow also played for England – and followed in both her parents’ footsteps academically.
But the Red Rose admits she would like to see more women taking the paths she has chosen.
“It’s a hot topic, women in engineering and women in rugby,” she adds.
“Both of them are desperately trying to get more women involved. It’s something that should definitely be looked into because there’s so much potential for both of them to get more people involved.”
Article courtesy of BBC Sport