The England centre and World Rugby Women's 15s Player of the Year talks about her current training regime on the family farm

Emily Scarratt on life in lockdown

As soon as things started to shut down, I borrowed a couple of bits from the rugby store cupboard at Loughborough to take home. My family has an arable and beef farm, so I’ve set up a training area in one of the barns there and used a few things from around the farm.

I made a bench press with two spare tyres my dad had in the workshop and a piece of wood, but one of the tyres disappeared when he had a flat on the truck so I had to find another bit of wood for that!

For the squat rack, I’ve got the barbell on two round bales, which is brilliant until I need to change the weights. Normally that’s easy as they’re hanging off the end but with this set-up I have to jump onto the bales and lift each end. It’s not perfect but does the job.

Emily Scarratt on life in lockdown

Training day: Emily Scarratt trains with England at Loughborough University before lockdown (Getty Images)

There are also two stacks of ten or so pallets where I can move a bar to different heights to do pull-ups, chin-ups and so on, or I can attach a band to do pull exercises. That’s the most diverse bit of kit.

I’m using a big tractor tyre on the floor for target practice with my kicking, or if I’m doing circuits I’ll flip it over. There’s also a half-mile drive between the farm buildings and the house so I’m able to run up and down there. I’m really fortunate that there’s lots of space.

Watch Scarratt training on the farm here…

It’s been quite nice being able to ‘build’ the gym set-up myself and mix it up. We have a programme from England but we can be more flexible at the moment and do different things.

We have a call every week to catch up with the coaches and see how everyone is doing. Scott Bemand, the backs coach, is encouraging us to share any skills and ideas we’re doing with each other. It’s good motivation to see what people are up to.


I’m training most days depending on the programme, and I’ll pick up extra jobs on the farm, too, as farmers are still working as normal. That’s been quite nice as usually I’m so busy I can’t lend a hand like this.

Unskilled, manual labour is what I’m used for, nothing too technical. While my dad and my brother, Joe, have been spraying and fertilising, I’ve done some pressure washing. A couple of trees fell down during the bad weather earlier in the year so I’ve been chopping those up.

The Loughborough team have been doing quizzes and we’ve got one with England next week. Katy (Daley-Mclean) and I won the last Loughborough one so we’ve got to design the next one. I think I’m going to do a farm round and she’s going to do a music round. I knew I wouldn’t be very good by myself so Katy and I teamed up, sending answers on our phones.

Last year I started my Level Three coaching award so I’ve done the last bits of work for that and hopefully that goes okay. I’ve been spending a bit more time making different meals and I’ve been doing a jigsaw puzzle. It’s a picture of white, milk and dark chocolate. This is the first one I’ve done by myself and I’ve been left with three pieces but none of them seem to fit in the three spaces so I need to see if I’ve done something wrong! I’ve not mastered puzzles yet.

I can’t remember a period when I’ve had this much time away from the game. Obviously I’m still training but there’s not even live rugby to watch on TV and you can mentally switch off.

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