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Saracens Women at 35 | Emma Mitchell Interview

27.05.24
In association with
City Index City Index
Emmamitchell

A founding member of Saracens Women and the starting scrum-half for England in the 1994 World Cup final victory over the USA.

Emma Mitchell is and will always remain a barometer with which to measure the ability of a scrum-half against.

Playing alongside her twin sister Jane for both club and country, the Mitchell’s were part of that trailblazing team back in 1989 then put Saracens Women on the road to the success they have enjoyed over the last 35 years.

Mitchell started at 9 in the first-ever Saracens Women’s match back in 1989 and explained that the game was all about showing off the women’s game to the Saracens supporters.

“We thought it would be good to set up an exhibition match to show what women’s rugby was about. It was played before the men’s first division match at Bramley Road. It was fairly packed, and it was a good game. We got quite a few players like the legendary Gill Burns to come down and play. We had to ask a few invitational players to join us as we didn’t quite have a full side at the time, but it was fantastic. The game was about trying to win over the fans and to let them know that we were there.”

Despite the instant success, the squad still had to deal with local residents not being happy about noise at Bramley Road on a Sunday. Mitchell took the time to go through the process she and several others had had to follow to make sure they could continue to play at Bramley Road.

“Sundays became our day at the club, but then we had the issue with whistles at the club! Local residents pulled up an old by-law that said there couldn’t be any noise on a Sunday in local parkland, including Bramley Road. We were forbidden from playing there for about six weeks and had to find a temporary pitch that we rented. We had a small action group that took the appeal in person to the local council. We suggested to them that as Sunday’s were the only time we could play; it could have been considered as discrimination and it was very quickly overturned!”

Mitchell played alongside her twin Jane until 1993, when Jane emigrated to America. Both sisters though had always wanted to finish their playing career together and Emma spoke fondly of how she and Jane ended their careers on a winning note.

“Jane played for Saracens and moved from Kent two months after we started the club. She wasn’t quite one of the founding members, but she played through until 1993 when she emigrated to California. When I finished playing, I went out to California with her. Part of that was wanting to finish our careers playing together and we did that in 2004 in a National Championship win out there. We were both just about hanging together, although we still knew the game inside out. To finish together was a dream.”

Emma then returned to England and joined Amanda Bennett’s coaching team at Saracens where she was still involved through to 2011. Now a Performance Lifestyle Practitioner with England Hockey, she is continuing that coaching journey, coaching the athletes as people, alongside their careers on the pitch.

Jamie1

Four Saracens selected to face Japan

Steve Borthwick has named four Saracens in his matchday squad to face Japan on Saturday. Jamie George will captain the side, with Maro Itoje and Ben Earl both starting, and Theo Dan on the bench. “We’re looking forward to the challenge of playing Japan at their National Stadium,” said Borthwick. “Conditions in Tokyo mean we’ll […]

18.06.24
In association with
City Index City Index
Mich1

Five Saracens in England Squad for Under 20's World Championship

Saracens have had five players named in the England squad for the Under 20's World Championship this summer. James Isaacs, Nathan Michelow, Olamide Sodeke, Jack Bracken and Angus Hall will all travel to South Africa. Head coach Mark Mapletoft and assistant coach Andy Titterrell have named their 30-strong personnel for this year’s tournament, with their first […]

18.06.24
In association with
City Index City Index
Ssnstructure

Premiership Women's Rugby Season Structure Confirmed for 2024/25

The Premiership Women’s Rugby structure has been confirmed this morning for the 2024/25 season. The league season will begin on Saturday 5 October, with the Final being staged on Sunday 16 March 2025, the day after the final round of the 2025 Men’s Guinness Six Nations. With a shortened league season, pre-season matches will replace the […]

18.06.24
In association with
City Index City Index

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