RED ROSES legend Emily Scarratt says England have so much talent you would barely know they have suffered ‘bonkers’ injuries.
Crocked centre Scarratt, 33, has not featured in this year’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations, a tournament the Red Roses have steamrolled after running in 31 tries across three convincing victories against Scotland, Wales and Italy.
And with Tatyana Heard and Lagi Tuima excelling in her absence, Scarratt admits she will have a fight on hands to reclaim a Test shirt.
She added: “In terms of depth, we’re in a ridiculously good place.
“I’m not sure how many teams could survive with the injuries and disruption we’ve had.
“You look at some of the numbers with those out, retired or unavailable and it’s absolutely bonkers.
“That shows the strength of the domestic league because those players coming in are used to tough games, so when they’ve come into that environment it’s been relatively seamless.”
Cork is the next stop on England’s quest for a fourth Grand Slam in five years with Simon Middleton’s side widely expected to run riot against winless Ireland on Saturday.
A victory at Musgrave Park would set up a Championship decider against France – with more than 50,000 tickets having been sold for the Twickenham showdown.
And Scarratt believes the occasion could be a watershed moment for the global growth of the women’s game.
She said: “We’re smashing through the glass ceilings.
“Hopefully the France game could be the real tipping point. I think there’s so many opportunities in the women’s game now and I am super excited to be a part of it.
“Hopefully we’ll see loads more people flood into Twickenham.”
Scarratt is desperate to banish her injury demons and bow out as a World Cup winner on home soil in 2025.
The veteran was part of the England team crowned world champions in 2014 and also started the final when they suffered an agonising 13-10 defeat against New Zealand at Twickenham Stoop four years earlier.
The Black Ferns spoiled the party then – and another defeat against the same opponents in last year’s final thwarted any chances of a possible Scarratt retirement.
Ongoing neck and ankle issues have ruled Scarratt out of the ongoing TikTok Women’s Six Nations but with the World Cup back in England in two years’ time, the 108-cap centre is determined to bow out in style.
Scarratt, speaking ahead of England’s Round 4 showdown with Ireland in Cork on Saturday, said: “I’d love to win another World Cup.
“It’s hard when you’re injured to have that as a focus but fundamentally, that’s a goal and looking ahead at the prospect of a home World Cup as well, that’s incredibly exciting.
“I was fortunate to play in 2010 but the landscape has completely changed now, and that tournament could be so epic.
“Hopefully I’ve still got a bit more to give in the next couple of years.”
O2 and the RFU have co-funded a half-time performance by the Sugababes for the Red Roses v France Women’s Six Nations match on Saturday 29 April. For tickets, visit https://www.eticketing.co.uk/rfu/Events
Hel bent on a win
HELEN NELSON is tipped to shine on her 50th cap as Scotland aim to break their Women’s Six Nations duck against Italy today.
The Scots have lost three out of three so far, including a 55-0 defeat to France.
But coach Bryan Easson believes fly-half Nelson, 28, will have a big influence on her big day in Edinburgh.
He said: “She’s a great person on and off the field. She speaks well, she’s well respected within the group and on the field she is a calm head.
“It’s a real good thing for her to get her 50th cap.”
Cunning plan, Ioan
IOAN CUNNINGHAM hopes a new-look front row can help Wales’ rugby women to a first-ever win in France.
Wales were hammered 59-3 by England and boss Cunningham — who has made seven changes in total — admits it will be tough for his side to beat the Six Nations’ other unbeaten side.
He said: “France will be a major test for us — they are one of the best teams in the world.
“We always knew playing England and then playing France away was going to be a major challenge.
“But these are the tests we want. We are an ambitious team and we need to know where we are.”
For all the latest TikTok Women’s Six Nations news, information, and details on how to watch the Championship, womens.sixnationsrugby.com