The No 8 will say goodbye in her home town
The world’s most-capped women’s player with 140 caps. England’s most-capped rugby player. A Rugby World Cup title. Ten Women’s Six Nations titles with nine Grand Slams. It’s been a hell of a career and so it seems only fitting that Sarah Hunter will retire after one last Test, against Scotland in her home town of Newcastle.
“The RFU kindly put a Red Roses game finally at Newcastle,” Hunter has told the BBC of bowing out with cap 141. “Which is my home city, where I grew up. I just couldn’t not give it a go to play in the game. I started playing rugby in Newcastle, finishing there feels like I’ve come full circle.”
It feels like all-change for the Red Roses.
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Sarah Hunter will retire. Head coach Simon Middleton will be replaced after the TikTok Women’s Six Nations. And several new faces should come through this upcoming tournament, with a handful of senior players missing, including Emily Scarratt (neck and ankle injury), Abbie Ward (pregnancy), and Zoe Harrison (anterior cruciate ligament injury).
However, they are heavily favoured to do the job again in the Six Nations, starting with their match-up against Scotland in Newcastle.
The match at Kingston Park is set to be a sell-out, with the Red Roses also playing at Northampton’s Franklin’s Gardens, and finishing the championship off at Twickenham, against France.
Related: Buy tickets for England v France
With around 34,000 tickets already sold for that match-up, there is hope that the likely Six Nations clincher will break the global record for a crowd at a women’s Test, set at the recent Rugby World Cup final in Auckland (42,579).
However, before that, all eyes will be on a homecoming and fond farewell for England great Hunter.
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