Emily Scarratt’s seamless return to 15s rugby was capped off in style when the Red Roses star was awarded World Rugby’s Women’s 15s Player of the year award.
The 29-year-old had been playing Sevens for her country since the 2017 World Cup final, but returned to the longer format at the end of last year and helped England to a Grand Slam at the start of 2019.
The smooth running centre scored a try in their enormous win over Scotland and then kicked on in the Super Series this summer.
The Loughborough Lightning centre scored four tries in her three starts and finished with 43 points in total.
And the star paid tribute to her teammates after the victory.
“It’s mad, Ruby (Tui) said it really well earlier. We don’t chase individual accolades, I have been unbelievably fortunate to play against and alongside some unbelievable players over the years, but this is pretty cool, for sure,” she said.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) November 3, 2019
Scarratt becomes the first English winner since Sarah Hunter back in 2016 and succeeds France’s Jessy Trémoulière who won it last year.
And after the introduction of central contracts, and with a World Cup in New Zealand in 2021 on the horizon, the future is looking very bright indeed.
“Central contracts are always going to help, it gave the girls that hadn’t been part of the project more time, it made such a huge difference,” she added.
“We have been able to play more Tests, have more time together, the quality is growing in England and around the world, it is going through the roof.
“It is really exciting, the women’s game has really pushed on and it is down to us to continue to showcase what we are about, to put on quality rugby for people to watch and hear about, New Zealand 2021 is going to be one hell of a spectacle.”