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Q&A with Emily Scarratt

England’s World Rugby player of the year on keeping fit on the family farm during rugby’s coronavirus lockdown

Have you heard when you might return to training?

No, we’re just dependent on the guidance and scientific thinking. It’s not something we need to worry about as players and we’re all trying to do all we can to train and stay fit on our own.

So you’re helping out on the family’s Leicestershire farm, where you grew up?

I’m incredibly fortunate, I have a lot of space here. That has been one of the advantages of this situation for me. I’ve been able to build a bit of a gym in one of the farming sheds and I’ve been able to help out on the farm, doing unskilled manual labour for our family business. Just odd jobs.

How have you kept your spirits up without rugby?

I’ve been treating it as a bit of a Christmas break but it’s going on much longer than that now. It can be difficult with motivation, especially finding that drive to train by yourself, but you have to make the best of the situation. It’s a weird one for everybody.

Do you think women’s sport will be adversely affected by the crisis?

It’s difficult to predict the full impact across sport as a whole. But I think when we come back, the appetite for sport — any sport — will be bigger than it has ever been. That can be positive for us.

What have you found out about yourself during all this time at home?

That I’m rubbish without a plan, so I bought a whiteboard off Amazon and plan daily now. I thought I was a chilled-out person but I know now that I definitely need structure in my life and this routine is something I’ll keep up when this is all over.

You chose the World Cup over the Olympics, which is now also in 2021. How did you come to that decision?

It was a really difficult call. I have been incredibly fortunate to have played both and had great experiences at both but it was about what’s more important and for me that was the World Cup. I’d grown up playing XVs and didn’t feel I’d have time to switch from sevens to XVs after Olympic year, as it stood at the time.

Emily Scarratt was speaking as an ambassador for Optimum Nutrition. As Official Performance Nutrition Partner to England Rugby, the men’s and women’s teams use Optimum Nutrition protein powders after workouts.