England' s women’s rugby team put on a show in the autumn, and star centre Emily Scarratt has urged all those who watched the Red Roses to try their hand at rugby at ONs' RFC Warrior Camp at Billing Road on Sunday (Jan 23) from 1pm-3pm
The Red Roses won all four of their autumn international matches including two record victories over New Zealand, the reigning world champions.
The games, shown live on the BBC, saw unprecedented viewing figures with a million tuning into the third game, a 51-12 win over Canada.
At elite level England are flying, and for those who might never have picked up a rugby ball themselves, Scarratt believes that the Warrior Camps are the perfect opportunity for budding rugby fans to give the sport a go.
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“It’s brilliant, it’s been going for a few years now. I’ve been lucky enough over previous years to get down to some camps and help out,” said Scarratt, who was speaking about the Allianz Inner Warrior campaign, which is England Rugby’s primary campaign to introduce women and girls to rugby for the first time, or to reintroduce them to the game after a break.
“Some of the stories you hear about people who take part are inspiring, from the young girl to the 40-year-old mum of three who had never played rugby before and everything in between.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for people to try it, whether that is because you want to go on and become the next Sarah Hunter playing for England or you want to do something different and step out of your comfort zone and want to socialise with new people and be more active.
"These camps are designed to welcome women and girls into rugby, with no judgement and no pressure.
“The reactions you get from those camps and days are amazing. I haven’t seen anyone who hasn’t had a brilliant day and didn’t want to go back.
"They’ve made friends and had a new appreciation for rugby. Don’t let the January weather put you off as you’ll feel proud of yourself for embracing the fresh air.”
The camp taking place at ONs on Sunday is the ideal opportunity for those who have indulged at Christmas to get back into shape according to Scarratt.
“Some of the camps coming up after Christmas are in that nice window when everyone wants to get back into activity and shift some of the turkey they have accumulated so it’s a brilliant time and opportunity for people to get out there and try something new,” she said.
“Take a friend, whatever it might be, just go and give it a try; you’ll feel great for setting yourself a new challenge.
"Rugby, especially in the women’s game, is untapped in how much people enjoy it. The other thing with rugby is there are so many forms of it. If you don’t want to do the contact side of things, you can play touch or tag.
“Everyone thinks you just have to run into each other really hard but there is so much more to it than that.
"Sometimes it’s not until people experience it that they realise that and understand that. There’s a place for everybody.”
A total of 25,000 women have attended Warrior Camps at community rugby clubs since January, 2017, with many going on to join women’s touch or contact rugby teams.
Also, 4,000 women and girls engaged with rugby through Warrior Camps between May and September last year, with a record 162 camps running in May, and 116 over August and September.
Visit EnglandRugby.com/innerwarrior or contact David Wood 07710 907221 for more information.