Emily Scarratt expecting tough Canada test for England

Emily Scarratt is expecting England to up their game when the Red Roses take on Canada in their second game of the Super Series.

England opened their campaign with a 38-5 win against the USA but were unhappy the performance did not reach their high expectations.

“For us, we constantly judge ourselves on our past performances and we set ourselves incredibly high standards, and we were probably a little bit off that in terms of the first game,” admitted Scarratt.

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“But that’s what tournaments are all about: you build into them, you grow, you get an opportunity in between games to reflect and refine some of those bits, so hopefully now we come out against Canada and change a few of those things.”

Canada have had more chances to build into the Super Series with Sunday’s encounter being their third game after losing to New Zealand and winning against France.

The two nations have met in 30 previous Test matches with England winning 26, Canada three and one game drawn, however despite their dominance, Scarratt knows they will be a testing encounter.

“They’ll be really tough competition. In both their games, though they didn’t get the result in the New Zealand one, they have certainly showed what they’re here to do in this competition and that is to really put their best foot forward,” added Scarratt.

The #RedRoses are in action tonight against Canada, and you'll be able to watch the action LIVE on @skysports from 01:00 BST 📲

Here's what happened the last time the two sides met… pic.twitter.com/YylHx6Iq0y

“You can see they’ve really come on since the last time we played them in the Autumn, and they got a great result against France. We’re preparing for this game as we would any other, it’s going to be a really tough contest.

“Canada are an incredibly physical and athletic side and they are coming off the back of two really good performances. We know it’s a super tough challenge.”

England Women have made nine changes to face Canada as head coach Simon Middleton looks to rotate his squad.

After starting against the USA, Scarratt is on the bench this week and is set to win her 80th cap when she comes on as a finisher.

She said: “We’ve got really good strength in depth at the moment and we’re able to make sure we can rest certain players, we can rotate, we can give everybody not only a chance to play, but also a chance to rest which is what tournament rugby is all about: getting your squad rotation right and everybody fresh and firing for each individual game.

“I guess the major difference [between starting and being on the bench] is you spend more time running in defence than you do in attack perhaps when you’re on the bench. But I think that gives you another great opportunity in the sense that you defend like the Canadians are going to defend.

“You try to help the starting lineup as best you can and give them the relevant pictures that we are expecting to see from this Canada side.”

The Super Series is an important tournament in the development of the game with Nollie Waterman recently saying it was harder to win than the World Cup.

Scarratt, who won the World Cup with England in 2014 against Canada, believes the intensity of the Super Series is on another level and gives newer members of the squad a taste of what to expect in a World Cup.

“Going out and performing, resting and recuperating properly, preparing for the next game and going out and doing it again is a real skill and not one you get to practice particularly often,” said Scarratt.

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