England’s grand slam-winning captain and record points-scorer on the fight to silence sexist keyboard warriors and the ambition of winning a World Cup in New Zealand
It’s not always glamorous at the peak of elite women’s rugby. Two days after helping England win back-to-back Six Nations grand slams, Emily Scarratt is sitting in her car on a cold night in Loughborough, cursing her lack of foresight in turning down a US college basketball scholarship 14 years ago. “It’s absolutely freezing, the rain’s starting to come down and I’ve got to go out and train. I think an indoor sport would definitely have been the way forward.”
She doesn’t mean it really. It reinforces, though, just how fortunate rugby is to have her. If you were to conduct a dressing-room poll of the most multi-talented current England players it would probably be Scarratt first, with Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell straining to make the podium. Score the tries, kick the goals, captain the team in your 90th Test and still turn up at your club 48 hours later ready to give more of yourself? If she were male, Scarratt would be being discussed in the hushed tones once reserved for Jonny Wilkinson.