- Full back pleased to return to 15-a-side fold after RWC Sevens
- “An England-New Zealand game is always special” – Scarratt
Emily Scarratt is delighted to have returned to the 15-a-side set-up and is confident England Women have enough Test match know-how to secure an away series win against the Black Ferns.
Scarratt, who will start Saturday’s series opener in Auckland at full back, was a part of Barry Maddocks’ six-month programme leading up to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow last month.
But now that tournament is over – with England being beaten at the quarter-final stage by New Zealand – the 23 year-old from Lichfield returns with six others from the sevens squad to win her 44th cap.
“It’s really exciting,” said the RPA Women's Player of the Year. “Obviously I’ve spent the last six months playing sevens which has been a great experience, but I’m really keen to get back on the field with these girls.
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“[In Russia] we were out knocked out by them at a stage where we didn’t want to leave the tournament – and fair play to them, they went onto win it.
“An England-New Zealand game is always special – they have beaten us in the last two World Cup finals [2006 and 2010], so the rivalry is always there. We just want to go out there and give it everything.”
As a key member of the side that defeated the Black Ferns 3-0 in last December’s series in England –scoring 13 points including a try in the 32-23 victory at Twickenham – Scarratt is well aware of the challenges that come with a trip across the globe.
However, she also insisted that Gary Street’s selection of an experienced line-up led from No 8 by Sarah Hunter could be decisive.
“[Playing over here] is going to be hugely different,” Scarratt added. “They’ve had their excuses before – obviously traveling and dealing with jet-lag – and it is difficult.
“We’ve done it for the past five or six days now and it is tough to get into a normal routine. It will be hard, but we’ve prepared very well and we’re fired up to repeat what we did in the autumn.
“[Our experience] is so important – a lot of the match-day squad were around in the autumn internationals and as far back as the World Cup, so we’ve got a lot of strength in depth.
“We’ve all experienced wins and we’ve all experienced losses, so hopefully that will put us in good stead heading into the first Test.”