- England star Emily Scarratt looking to transfer XVs success into Sevens
- Twickenham to host IRB Women’s Challenge Cup Sevens this weekend
England Women’s Emily Scarratt is hoping to set the Rugby Sevens world alight this weekend when she makes her international sevens debut in the IRB Challenge Cup at the Marriott London Sevens (May 12-13) at Twickenham Stadium.
Scarratt, 22, has done just that in the XVs game, running out an impressive 39 times for England, scoring 65 international points and competing in the 2010 Rugby World Cup. But this weekend’s international sevens tournament will represent a new chapter in her rugby career.
"I’m very excited that this is going to be my first international Sevens tournament," said the Lichfield player. "With it being at Twickenham hopefully it will be a great occasion, with lots of rugby fans coming to watch a great weekend of international rugby.
"As long as I can find my lungs and keep my legs with me then hopefully I can successfully transfer my skills over from XVs to Sevens. It will be a challenge but one that I am really looking forward to."
Scarratt joins the England Sevens squad on the back of victory at the IRB Women’s Challenge Cup in Hong Kong in March and the team also reached the final of the Dubai leg of the tournament in December, narrowly losing out to a strong Canadian outfit.
Photo: RFU Archive
"This England team has already set the bar very high, winning in Hong Kong and finishing second in Dubai," added Scarratt. "Our Sevens programme is really developing at speed and that is now starting to show in our results.
"This tournament is even bigger for us as it’s on home turf and obviously we want to win the final Challenge Cup of this season. I’ve played at Twickenham before so I know first-hand how the atmosphere can lift you and hopefully with the crowd behind us again at the weekend we can repeat the success we have enjoyed at Twickenham in XVs."
The Challenge Cup in London is the third IRB-sanctioned tournament of the season, running alongside the HSBC Sevens World Series, and it will see 12 teams from six continents compete for the trophy. Joining England in Pool A are South Africa, Kazakhstan and Olympic Games 2016 hosts Brazil. The pool games will be played on the neighboring Cardinal Vaughan pitches, with the semi finals and final on the famous Twickenham pitch.
"We have got a tough pool but so have our rivals," she said. "This is also France’s first IRB Challenge Cup tournament and I think they are a side to watch out for. They are an awesome XVs rugby nation and I’m sure they will be in Sevens too. Australia and Canada, who have been in the mix all season, will also be big rivals so there are going to be some really big tests and we are going to have to be at our best to beat them."
A limited number of tickets will be available for the Marriott London Sevens weekend on the day, weekend passes starting from £30, single day tickets from £18 and children’s tickets at £5 each. The South Stand ticket office will be open from 9am.
England Women's Sevens Squad
Rachael Burford (Richmond)
Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond)
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Sonia Green (Saracens)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
Sarah McKenna (Wasps)
Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
Alice Richardson (Richmond)
Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
Michaela Staniford (C) (Wasps)
Joanne Watmore (Worcester)
Kay Wilson (Bristol)