Hannah Botterman impressed with her ‘dominant’ fellow forwards as England beat Ireland

PUBLISHED: 17:59 24 February 2020

Hannah Botterman (left) expects to be free of injury for England's next Six Nations match against Wales. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

Hannah Botterman (left) expects to be free of injury for England's next Six Nations match against Wales. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Hannah Botterman was content enough to have a watching brief as England beat Ireland 27-0 in the Women’s Six Nations – but only this once.

The former Datchworth and Welwyn junior was ruled out of the game at Doncaster's Castle Park with a calf injury but she doesn't believe the "niggle" will keep her out of their penultimate fixture with Wales on March 7.

In her absence the Red Roses made it three wins from three in this year's championship and although it wasn't the most fluent of performances, the 20-year-old was pleased to see her fellow forwards in dominant mood.

She said: "It was good to watch but it's hard sitting on the side-lines. That's obviously not where I want to be but it was nice to get a different perspective and see how the girls did.

"We've worked really hard on our intent. We always use the classic saying, the forwards decide if we win and the backs decide by how much.

"We just try to be as dominant as we can and you could see that against Ireland."

One feature of this year's tournament from an England point of view has been the rampaging runs of Sarah Bern and Botterman, both very difficult to stop once they've built up a head of steam.

It has earned the Saracens prop the moniker of the "human bowling ball" from Rocky Clark, the most capped player in England international history.

"Yeah, she does like to use that phrase," laughed Botterman.

"Both Sarah and I really enjoy that aspect of the game. Our bread and butter should be the scrum and that's something we strive to work hard on but we really like open play too and getting the ball in hand."

The victory puts England within two games a second successive Grand Slam and Botterman admits the competition to stop them is as fierce as ever.

She said: "They have been three tough games and we've got another two to go. We'll come out of this camp and have a few days off before getting ready for Wales and then Italy.

"It's a happy squad but not a complacent one.

"Generally in sport everyone wants to beat England and that's no different in women's rugby.

"At times we feel like we have a target on our back but that is something we thrive on and enjoy that expectation.

"We like to go out and show what we can do and hopefully the performances and results show that."

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