CORRINGHAM’S England international Emily Scott hopes to see more young girls follow in her footsteps.

The 22-year-old has just been named as one of 20 England Sevens players to have been awarded a central contract from the Rugby Football Union.

They will be the first women professionals ever in this country and will be targeting a spot at the Olympic Games in two years time.

It follows on from England’s success at the World Cup where Scott’s Thurrock Rugby Club team-mates Rachael Burford and Kay Wilson were all part of the squad.

Scott said: “It is a fantastic opportunity and something I am so excited about, so I can’t wait to get started,” said the fly-half.

“It’s a real privilege to be named in this group of 20 as the first women’s professional rugby players in this country ever.

“Training alongside recent World Cup winners will be great but also a little bit daunting.”

Scott hopes her achievements and England’s World Cup victory will inspire more south-east Essex girls to take up the sport.

“I definitely think the World Cup win will inspire more girls to take up the sport,” confirmed Scott. “The qualities shown in the World Cup, not only just the skill level on the pitch, but the commitment and dedication off the pitch, is truly something to be admired.

“Why shouldn't more girls play it either? Rugby is one of those fantastic sports that anybody can play no matter what age, size or gender.

“There is a position on the field for everyone. Being part of a rugby team is just like having a second family.

“Each week you put your body on the line for the people on the pitch with you and that creates strong bonds and friendship.”

Scott said she has been playing rugby since primary school age after being inspired to take up the sport by her dad.

“I started at Stanford Rugby Club at around the age of eight,”

she explained.

“My dad has always been heavily involved in rugby and I grew up watching him play or coach and I spent most Saturdays watching him play.

“I soon had had enough of watching and I asked if I could join in so I joined the boys team there and played at Stanford until I was 12, at which age you can no longer play mixed rugby.

“After that I moved to the only girls under-15 team in the area at the time - Basildon RFC.

“From there I had opportunities to play county and regional rugby and I was selected into the national programme when I was 14 and I have been part of it ever since.”

Now playing at the very highest level, Scott and her England teammates will compete on the IRB Sevens World Series circuit this season as they seek qualification as Great Britain for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

And she is eager to help make that happen as part of her targets for the year ahead.

“From an international perspective, personally I am hoping to further develop my skills and physicality and as a group of 20 we need to place in the top four of the IRB Sevens World Series to achieve automatic qualification for the Olympics,”

said Scott.

“But from a club perspective, the Thurrock T-Birds are hoping to achieve promotion into the Premiership and have a really good chance of doing so.”