The Saracens front-rower talks nights out, summer holidays and, er, shewees
Red Roses prop Hannah Botterman
What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard on the pitch?
When she was at Waterloo, Sarah Beckett once told Poppy Cleall she had eaten all the pies.
Who are the jokers in the squad?
Other than me? Amy Cokayne is my partner in crime. Abbie Ward is a bit of a joker – I bring it out of her!
Do you have any phobias?
I don’t like snakes. I’m not a massive fan of critters either but snakes I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.
What annoys you?
People not owning up when they’ve done something wrong. Blamers. As an example, people who drop a ball and blame the person who passed it, even though it was a fine pass.
Got any superstitions?
No, I don’t have a specific pair of pants or socks. I always listen to the same song, though. Clique by Kanye West. It says “Ain’t nobody f***ing with my clique”, the clique being my team. It riles me up but not too much.
Your most embarrassing moment?
I was in the showers after a game and I slipped so was laid out on my back. Everyone was in there, I was naked and felt vulnerable, everyone was laughing. I’m always falling over in training, tripping over myself.
The best advice you’ve ever received?
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Alex Austerberry used to say that to me when I was 14 and didn’t want to work hard!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Shania Twain – good tunes.
Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
I feel like smaller people would be better… A lift engineer.
Actually, it would be nice to be stuck there with Ella Toone. I enjoyed the Euros. It was massively inspiring.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. I don’t mind flying but to blink and be home would be lovely.
You went on quite a lot of holidays in the summer…
We (her and partner Holly Aitchison) decided not to spend a day at home for the four weeks we had off. We hadn’t been anywhere since Covid, so we did Corfu, Croatia and Mauritius, then we had another week in Santorini.
If your house was on fire, what’s the one thing you’d save? People and pets are safe.
I was going to say I’d grab my missus. Everyone will say their phone, so I won’t say phone.
I’m not very sentimental. It would be my phone!
What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever bought?
I bought a shewee. After the Six Nations, there was a massive queue for the toilet in France and I thought if I had a shewee I’d just be able to go in the urinal and go. I bought one but I’ve only been able to use it once effectively. It’s really hard to p*** standing up.
If you could be any one of your team-mates, who would it be?
Emily Scarratt, to see what it’s like to be a superstar and play the game like her.
Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?
I’d put a chef in there. Gino D’Acampo. Ella Toone again. I think she’d be good craic. And maybe Harry Styles. I’m not a die-hard fan but I think he’s a very cool bloke.
Do you have any surprising hidden talents?
I can juggle, three things. I could probably do it with most things. Rugby balls would be fine.
What’s been your best fancy dress outfit?
I went as Count Dracula with one of my mates as Miss Dracula. It was after the men’s World Cup final (2019), which was around Halloween. Everyone came to mine to watch the game in the morning. We started drinking then, had a nap for a couple of hours early afternoon and then went to the local pub in fancy dress.
The next day I woke up with salt in my hair. I’d passed out on the table and Poppy and Bryony Cleall had been pouring salt in my hair!
What would be your Mastermind specialist subject?
What do I know lots about? I know lots about nothing. Song lyrics of the 2000s.
What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
I’d like to be good at golf. I’d also like to go to a culinary school of some sort. I like food and cooking.
What’s your specialty?
Steak. I don’t have a specific way of doing it but I don’t do it by time, I do it by feel, the vibe I get from the steak.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a person who puts smiles on people’s faces.
This article originally appeared in Rugby World magazine’s November 2022 edition.
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