Zoe Harrison eyes World Cup return after England snob
In a time of noticeable momentum for change in women’s rugby and equality, the best players are often defenders as well as participants, but Saracens half-fly Zoe Harrison wears it well, passing it entertainingly. to the preview of his club’s Premier 15 final with Harlequins on Sunday, via his brief but shocking fall for England, to his long-term hopes for the sport.
“I would love in my career for the Premier 15 to become fully professional,” says Harrison I on the eve of the Saracens for their third title out of three since the start of the competition in 2017-18. “It’s frustrating to go to practice at night, when some girls get up at 6 am and come home at 10 pm, doing one or two jobs.
Two recent revivals have seen BT Sport give this finale its first live TV coverage, and the BBC has included next season’s Six Nations Women in its new broadcast rights package.
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Harrison has the luxury of a full-time contract with England, supplemented by Saracens, but the combined total sits comfortably in the five digits, so the 23-year-old from Hertfordshire lets part of her heart rule her head.
“Next week I’m going on vacation and finally getting some rest, then I come back in July for the pre-season with England followed by the pre-season with Sarries. I want to play for my country, I want to go to a World Cup next year, so obviously it’s rugby at the moment. But I hope it grows and the game of girls increases even more.
The setback of women receiving less attention than men was evident when Harrison was abandoned by England for a game in March, based on the ‘three strikes and you are out’ of the Red Roses squad rules. .
IOther sources say she failed to complete the team’s Covid-19 app on time once in the fall, and then failed to send the GPS data on schedule. , then when the team was in their Six Nations camp at Loughborough. , she finished the application at 9:20 a.m. one day when it should have been done at 9:00 a.m.
The punishment seemed harsh to some, especially when Harrison competed with Helena Rowland to succeed retiree Katy Daley-Mclean. Certainly, had it happened to Owen Farrell, Harrison’s male counterpart as the Saracens and England half-fly, the headlines would have been huge.
Harrison remains upset by a news report mistakenly suggesting that there was a party involved in the Third Breach, but she sums up the episode as follows: “It happened, and I kept going. And I was back for the next game.
So his Six Nations action went as follows – dropped for the game against Scotland, replacement against Italy, No.12 in the final against France when England retained the trophy, then No.10 starting in the extra match with the French. in Lille, which ended a quarter ahead of an electrical fault. “I think everything went well – until the lights go out!” Harrison said. “We’ll see how I hold up in July.”
As the comparison continues, we are talking about social media. Harrison’s Instagram account has 8,822 followers; Farrell has 350,000. (Lionel Messi, famous No.10 in another sport, has 211 million.) Harrison’s normal-abnormal existence is illustrated in a sequence of her in three photos: dressed with friends during from a party, in sunglasses and a bikini on a Barcelona beach, and toss the ball onto the pitch with England’s No.10 jersey.
“I’d like to go there and find 10 million followers,” Harrison says. “That would be great. There were 1,400 people in our semi-final last week. In the future, who knows?
“I don’t have anyone taking care of my social networks for me, I don’t have the money to do it. It’s just to show how I’m doing in my sport, but also how I’m doing. You don’t want to be too personal on this, because it’s an open account – but it shows how I’m doing, I’m trying to promote the sport, while showing my personal life, because I still have my friends from school and united on it.
“It’s good to show a mix, especially to show young girls – that you can still do that stuff, hang out with your friends, get up fine, and still do your sport.”
In the Harlequins ‘and Saracens’ third consecutive meeting tomorrow in the flagship event of the English club match, Harrison said: “The two teams have grown so much since we last faced each other in the final two years ago. years. And the game has exploded, it’s completely different, even as of 2019.
“Everything is a lot more intense – the physicality, the handling of the game, the kicking side, the defenses are a lot stronger, and it all plays out a lot faster. The mental side is more tiring, you think a lot more in games. The Harlequins have a heavy front yard, well drilled, it will be a very difficult game.
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