Scarratt and Middleton recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

England Women captain Emily Scarratt and coach Simon Middleton have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours becoming MBEs.

England Women captain Emily Scarratt and coach Simon Middleton have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours becoming MBEs.

The pair combined to lead England to the Women’s Six Nations title in 2021, overcoming France in the final at the Twickenham Stoop.

It was a third successive crown for the Red Roses, and the MBEs recognise the impact they have had on the women’s game in England in recent years.

Scarratt led from the front for England, taking over the captaincy with Sarah Hunter still getting back up to speed after injury.

The centre was also England’s goal-kicker, finishing as the Championship’s top points-scorer, including a late penalty that sealed the 10-6 win over Les Bleues.

Scarratt told England Rugby: “It’s a huge honour and I never expected anything like this.

“I play rugby because I love it and it has always played a huge role in my life.

“To have seen the progression the game has had over my career to date and the numbers of young girls and women now playing the sport gives even greater meaning to this award.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have played in some fantastic teams over the years and especially at this time I’m reminded that rugby is a team game.

“This is a huge honour for me and my family and it’ll take a while to sink in.”

Middleton, meanwhile, has been in charge of England since 2015, leading them to three Grand Slams, and was taken aback to become an MBE.

He told England Rugby: “It’s not often I’m lost for words but on this occasion I am.

“It’s a massive honour and one I never dreamt of receiving.

“I think in the spirit of why you play rugby and why you’re involved in rugby, I just hope everybody who has known me and everyone who played rugby with me can enjoy it as well. You don’t get awards like this on your own. You encounter thousands of people as you go. You get so much support from people around you. That’s the nature of sport, particularly rugby. We talk about the rugby family and I just hope everybody shares the feeling I have a little bit. I’m hugely proud and massively grateful.

“On a more personal note, it’s such a huge honour for my family. I saw the reaction of my mum, my brothers and I know what my dad would have said.

“When your 16-year-old son says ‘that’s cool I’m well proud of you’, that’s a big shout from a 16-year-old. Cara (my daughter) was just ‘wow, that’s amazing’ even my wife was impressed which takes a bit of doing. You know something spectacular has happened when people in our house react like that!

“It’s just amazing, incredible and I’m hugely, hugely proud.”

The pair were not the only members of the rugby community to be recognised with Wales duo Martyn Phillips and Ryan Jones also becoming MBEs.

Phillips served as the chief executive of the WRU, while former Wales skipper Jones is recognised for his charity work.

During the pandemic, Jones ran a marathon in his back garden in Swansea to raise money for NHS staff.