‘This is a very rare opportunity’: Katy Daley-Mclean ready to get started with Tyrrell’s Premier 15s newcomers Sale
- England fly-half Katy Daley-Mclean will play for Sale Sharks next season
- Sharks are one of two new teams introduced to women’s Tyrrell’s Premier 15s
- They and Exeter Chiefs have replaced Richmond and Waterloo for next season
- Daley-Mclean is confident the women’s game can thrive after coronavirus crisis
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
England fly-half Katy Daley-Mclean believes the introduction of Sale Sharks to the Tyrrell’s Premier 15s can help elevate the women’s game to the next level.
The 34-year-old, who captained England to victory at the 2014 Rugby World Cup, completed a move to the newcomers this summer to take up a player-coach role after leaving Loughborough Lightning.
While the current Premier 15s season has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Daly-Mclean insisted it would not prove to be a long-term setback despite the profound financial impact it is projected to have.
Katy Daley-Mclean has completed a move to join Sale Sharks as a player-coach next season
Daly-Mclean told Sportsmail: ‘The opportunity in modern day rugby to be at a club at the start of something as big as this is very rare.
‘For me it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss at this point of my career, I’m not going to play forever and I’m looking to transition into coaching or whatever comes next.
‘The bits that excited me are that we will be based with the men’s team at Carrington, we will have access to gyms and facilities the guys use and will be able to drop in on their set up.’
Daley-Mclean acknowledges she is nearing the end of a storied career that has brought with it 91 England caps, the 2014 World Cup and the opportunity to watch the women’s game grow from the very start.
She said: ‘I got capped in 2007 against Scotland, I think there were no more than 250 in the crowd and I think I am probably being generous.
‘You look at some Tyrrell Premier games and there are thousands there now.
‘Over 13 years, that is a huge number.
‘For me with the club game that is where the future is, the hope is eventually when our league is ready it will go professional so the women can make a living from it. When we start getting to that place it just improves the standard.’
Daley-Mclean has earned 91 caps for England at fly-half since her debut in 2007
Before getting stuck into her new challenge though, Daley-Mclean like all professional players has had to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic that has temporarily halted sport.
Having confirmed she would be willing to take a pay cut to her centrally-contracted salary if asked, the veteran has also spent her time off the field keeping sharp.
Of her time in lockdown, she said: ‘I need routine; I’m not good at twiddling thumbs. I run early in the morning, which is good.
‘I live next to a park, so I’ve been doing 5km runs, I’ve got a makeshift gym with some dumbbells. Over the year I’ve done a lot of programmes so I’m picking the things I like
‘Usually we are programmed so it is nice to pick what we do
‘I like baking, I’m getting good at a cheese scone now.
‘Now we have all this time we want to make the most of it, at some point this will end and we will go back to normal so if we make the most of it, it will be nice going forwards as well.’