Under the expert guidance of Head Coach Gary Street, England’s Women have made real progress over the past few seasons. As Rugby World Cup finalists, reigning champions of both the RBS 6 Nations and the Nations Cup, expectations are high. And with such a capable squad, the sky really is the limit.
This autumn is set to be the busiest ever for England who will play two matches against France and three against world champions New Zealand between November 2 and December 3. England then go into the New Year looking to defend their Six Nations crown and secure a record breaking seventh consecutive title.
England Women’s Sevens will also be in action as momentum builds towards Rugby Sevens’ inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games with tournaments across the globe, including the inclusion of international women’s rugby in the IRB World 7s Series.
She may wear 13 or 15 on her back, but if you put her in any position on a rugby pitch you get the impression that Emily would become world class at it. In fact, you could probably say the same about a number of sports she's been involved in, too. Throw her a ball, any shape and she'd catch it, hit it or dunk it. We could easily have seen Emily playing for England at hockey, rounders and even basketball - she was offered a US Basketball Scholarship aged 16 but turned it down, much to the delight of England rugby fans.
Lichfield Number 8 Sarah actually began her life in rugby playing the league code as a nine year old at Goathland Primary school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Sarah remembers: "It wasn't as well organised in terms of national competitions but we had a rugby coach come in and introduce rugby into our PE lessons." Thankfully, as far as we are concerned she switched to union five years later when she was at Longbenton Community College in the same city. "I was fortunate as I had a local club that I would go and play for and I just continued to play through there, but there were only two girls on the team so it wasn't as accessible as it is now for girls" she said.
Natasha 'Mo' Hunt is not only a scrum-half for England and Lichfield but is also a qualified PE teacher at Sir Graham Balfour School in Stafford (for those that don't know, Sir Graham was a Victorian Statistician and member of Florence Nightingale's inner circle) having first worked as a trainee at King Edward's School in Birmingham (for those that don't know, King Edward was a king).
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