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Emily Scarratt signs new Loughborough Lightning contract

England women’s record point-scorer Emily Scarratt has signed a new contract with Loughborough Lightning ahead of the 2023/24 Premiership Women’s Rugby season.

The 2014 Rugby World Cup winner joined Lightning in 2018 following a successful period in the England Women’s Sevens programme, having previously played for Lichfield Ladies.

Scarratt made her Red Roses debut as an 18-year-old back in 2008, and became only the fifth English woman to reach 100 Test caps in the 2022 Women’s Six Nations victory over Scotland.

The 33-year-old has amassed 108 Test caps, appearing in three World Cup finals and has nine Women’s Six Nations titles to her name, including eight Grand Slams.

Her haul of points for England is more than 200 ahead of her nearest rival, the retired Katy Daley-Mclean, and no English woman has scored more than her 131 Rugby World Cup points from 14 appearances.

The centre/full-back has been a totemic figure for Loughborough Lightning – scoring 228 points in 33 appearances so far in African Violet ­– and has been on board throughout the partnership with Northampton Saints, which began in 2021, acting as one of Saints’ Women’s Rugby Ambassadors.

Ahead of the 2023/24 Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby season – which will see Lightning play all their home league games at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens for the first time – Scarratt has put pen to paper on a new deal that will see her move into a sixth season in an African Violet shirt.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Loughborough and the partnership with Northampton Saints is an exciting one,” she said.

“We’ve got a serious amount of potential at Loughborough Lightning that perhaps we didn’t show last season. But I really think we can develop this season and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Emily Scarratt

“It’s amazing to play at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens and we’re looking forward to playing on that incredible pitch on a regular basis. Just being in a stadium like that and the support we get is quite different to when we play at Loughborough ­– which we love.

“The Saints supporters are really looking to adopt us now as their own. Quite a few Saints fans I’ve seen around have come up to me and said they’re looking forward to coming to watch us, so that’s really exciting.”

Scarratt’s extended deal follows a flurry of announcements from the Loughborough camp – with an incredible 14 players already committing to Lightning ahead of the upcoming Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby season, including Scarratt’s England teammates Sadia Kabeya, Helena Rowland, and Cath O’Donnell.

Lightning head coach Nathan Smith said: “Scaz is an exceptional human being who we are really lucky to have in our environment – which grows by her being there.

“Luckily enough, she's also one of the best players in the world that we're confident we can still develop as a player.

“She is a brilliant influence on the younger generation coming through. Technically and tactically, but also she models the professional behaviours expected of a world-class player.”

Nathan Smith, Loughborough Lightning Head Coach

For the first time this season, all of Lightning’s home Premiership Women’s Rugby league matches will be played at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

Season tickets start from just £60 adult / £45 adult terrace / £25 junior (under-18s), with a special discounted rate available for Saints Season Ticket Holders, Saints Members, and those who purchased a Lightning ticket bundle during the 2022/23 campaign.

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