Profile: Linda Franssen and Nicole Kwee
Linda Franssen and Nicole Kwee are two of the Netherlands' full-time women's Rugby Sevens athletes who competed in Dubai at the first round of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series. Both are now gearing up for round two of the Series in Houston, USA on 1-2 February.
A practicing vet, Franssen started her rugby career as a student at RUS in Utrecht and in 2008 she moved to Amsterdam and started playing for AAC Rugby.
Kwee, meanwhile, returned for the Dubai showpiece after a long-term injury, having made her international debut in Dubai back in 2011. Originally from the Wasps club in Nijmegen, she recently moved from one side of the country to the other in order to be in Amsterdam and fully commit to the Dutch Sevens programme, which has the backing of the country's National Olympic Committee.
Here both women answer our questions about their lives in Rugby so far..
What was your first rugby experience?
Linda Franssen: Taking part in a rugby clinic during fresher's week at University.
Nicole Kwee: My first training session was with the Dutch club NRC, the 'Wasps' when I was 19.
And your first match?
LF: With the first team I joined, RUS from Utrecht, in the Dutch league.
NK: On the beach, in Wenduine in 2007.
When did you know that rugby was what you wanted to do?
LF: Since my first training session!
NK: When I realised that I couldn't combine badminton and rugby. At that moment I stopped playing badminton and went 100% for rugby.
What do you like to eat before a match?
NK: Bread with cheese and jam.
Which part of training do you dread the most?
LF: Running when there is no ball involved.
NK: Tackle bag training in bad weather. Too bad we live in the Netherlands...
What do you like doing outside of rugby?
LF: I like my job, working as a vet. I like animals a lot.
NK: Spending time with friends and family.
Who are your sporting idols?
LF: Kyle Brown (South Africa Sevens) and Epke Zonderland (Dutch Olympic gymnast, dubbed the 'Flying Dutchman').
NK: Tomasi Cama (NZ Sevens) and Usain Bolt (Olympic sprint champion).
What is your favourite sporting memory?
LF: Winning the semi-final against Australia at the 2012 London Sevens at Twickenham.
NK: Playing Dubai in 2011, my first tournament as an elite player.
What are you most looking forward to on this year's Series?
LF: Playing high level rugby with the best teams in the world.
NK: To be on the field with my team, after coming back from injury, and playing against international teams.
Who do you think is going to win the first IRB Women's Sevens World Series?
LF: I think England, Canada, Australia and probably New Zealand are favourites. But I think we are a good outsider and in Sevens anything can happen!
NK: We are, the Netherlands!
Video: Netherlands and NZ on their Olympic Sevens programmes