England better prepared than ever for the World Cup – Emily Scarratt

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

Emily Scarratt will embark on her fourth World Cup after witnessing a radical transformation in women’s football.

England’s central star is set to be an influential figure in New Zealand this fall as Simon Middleton’s team aim to become world champions for the third time.

Scarratt was among the heroes of 2014, finishing as the tournament’s top scorer, but he also appeared at the 2010 and 2017 World Cups in a career that totals 103 matches despite a long break to play sevens.

For this event, England are a huge favourite, boasting a record 25 test wins and the most professional setup, including the use of full-time contracts that helped create unparalleled depth.

“The game has changed a lot. You can look at it from so many different angles,” Scarratt told the PA news agency.

“Fundamentally, how much time we are spending together in preparation is very different from 2010. Things like kitting, how we travel, where we stay.

“The huge thing we have now is the support network we have with the fans. It’s been amazing to play some warm-up games at home in front of 10,000 people.

“In the past we had this for a World Cup final, not for the previous friendly. It’s really exciting.

“And it’s scary how much the quality has gone up on the pitch. You see some of these young men running – they are super fast, super talented and super skilled. It’s an amazing place to be.

“Our national league took off, which obviously helped bring in players quickly.

“We were part of the 2017 final which was one of the best World Cup finals in terms of quality.

“Obviously we’d rather be on the right side of the outcome than being part of a fantastic show, but you can see the quality is up there.”

Scarratt’s own joy at discovering she had been included in the squad was tempered to learn that her longtime friend and teammate Natasha Hunt failed to make the cut.

Red Roses manager Middleton explained that Hunt’s style of play is at odds with what he wants from the position, meaning the nine starters from the last two World Cup finals will not be present in New Zealand.

“She’s broken and I’m broken for her because she’s my best friend. Regardless of the rugby side of things, you want these people around you,” Scarratt said.

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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