The world's best will face off in the 2019 Women's Super Series.

Emily Scarratt: ‘The Women’s Super Series Will Be Awesome’

Since I started playing for England, we’ve had summer tours, but we’ve not had the best teams in the world gathering together before. To have us, New Zealand, France, Canada and the USA all in one place, San Diego, for the Women’s Super Series is awesome. And it’s going to be so competitive, especially as it’s like the World Cup with short turnarounds.

The World Cup is a tough few weeks so it’s good to get the chance to replicate that and give some of the younger players exposure to that. It’s a good challenge.

It’s cool that people will be able to watch on TV too. That’s how you grow the game – you don’t want a first-class tournament to take place that only people in the host country can watch.

France will be disappointed about the game they lost to us in the Six Nations, but equally we were a bit disappointed with our second half. I’m sure they will look at that game and perhaps change the way they play against us. They hardly kicked the ball and we kicked a lot.

French Tactician: Bourdon controls the game from the scrum-half position beautifully (Getty Images)

By the very nature of being French, their players always offer a bit of flair. Pauline Bourdon, their scrum-half, seems to put her mark on games – like many French nines, she’s as influential as the tens are in the English game.

America and Canada are definitely better sides than the results they had against us last autumn – the USA lost 57-5 and Canada lost 27-19. There were a lot of youngsters in those groups and they’ll be much more experienced now.

USA coach Rob Cain is doing good things over there and we have a couple of Canadians at Loughborough Lightning – Daleaka Menin and Emily Tuttosi. They came to play club rugby in England to experience a different environment, strengthen their game and ultimately make the national side stronger.

New Zealand are New Zealand! They are always strong, have been playing rugby since they were three years old and it’s in their blood. They’ve bolstered their squad with a couple of sevens girls alongside younger girls. Kelly Brazier brings enormous experience.

I’m really looking forward to playing against them as we don’t get to do it often given the geography of the two nations. It’s the first time we will have played them since the World Cup final (2017), but our side has changed since then and so has theirs. It’s not about looking back; it’s about the next cycle and the next World Cup.

Out For Revenge: Scarratt will be looking to avenge Englands’s 2017 Rugby World Cup Final loss to New Zealand (Getty Images)

For us, it’s very much a continuation of what we’ve been doing after a successful Six Nations campaign. We’re trying to judge ourselves against ourselves as much as we can and are looking at our decision-making in games. It’s about being ruthless and taking opportunities; something we might get away with in one game we won’t get away with against New Zealand or France as you don’t get a second chance.

We’ve lost two incredibly experienced players in Katy Daley-Mclean – our talismanic playmaker – and Rachael Burford, as well as Jess Breach, for
the tour as they’re injured, but it’s an opportunity for people like Zoe Harrison, Tatyana Heard and Amber Reed to step up and increase our strength in depth in those areas. We’ll definitely miss their leadership, but it’s a chance for other people to fill the quiet moments in meetings, to make sure the right messages are being shared.

I definitely think we can beat New Zealand – and I’m sure if you asked them they would say the same. It’s the nature of the two sides. We’ll go with a huge amount of belief that we can get the results we want and beat everybody.

The 2019 Women’s Super Series begins this Friday with the England Women first facing off against the USA. They follow that with Canada on July 6th and France are their opponents four days later. Their final match will be against New Zealand on the 14th of July. To see all the fixtures click on the Fixtures link below. 

This column appeared in Rugby World’s August 2019 issue.

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