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Scarratt ‘thrilled’ to make Lightning comeback after 13 months out

Emily Scarratt was ‘thrilled’ to make her Loughborough Lightning comeback against Bristol Bears after more than 13 months on the sidelines.

Some 411 days after her last outing in an African Violet shirt and after successfully rehabilitating from neck surgery, the 108-times capped Red Roses star returned to action at inside centre at Ashton Gate on Friday evening.

The 34-year-old played 47 minutes of the Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby encounter before being replaced, as Lightning ultimately fell to a 33-17 defeat.

“Nothing beats playing and that is why I am still a rugby player because I love doing it and there’s still a big appetite to get out there and play the game,” said the 2014 World Cup winner. “I am thrilled to get back out there. I am slightly frustrated we didn’t put a few more points on the board. The overwhelming feeling is a bit of frustration of the game. Personally, it was good to get back out there. As a team we are going in the right direction.”

Scarratt wasted little time in reintroducing herself to the thick of the action, making tackles, putting in kicks and helping to pull the strings in the backs division.

“You either get stuck in or you don’t and your mindset determines whether you’re well enough to come back and play the game.”

Emily Scarratt

“There’s bound to be a bit of rustiness, all I have done is train and play alongside the girls that I know and the systems that I know at Loughborough. Obviously when you come up against a completely different beast sometimes that does induce a bit of rustiness, but it is also expected after that period of time out of the game.”

Scarratt was cheered on by the likes of Sarah Hunter and Natasha Hunt in the stands and took time to thank those who played roles in her return to the pitch.

“It is not easy, no injury is, and we’ve all had different experiences of that, but I had an amazing support network around me, family, friends, medics, S&Cs as well. They’ve all piled in to help me get back physically or help me get back here mentally as well.”

Loughborough Lightning’s next match is at home at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday 3 March against Sale Sharks (kick-off: 3pm). Tickets are available by clicking HERE.

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