England: Sarah Hunter

World’s most-capped women’s player hopes Gallagher High Performance Academy will help her achieve her coaching goals

From player to coach – a journey with the Red Roses.

Sarah Hunter retired from playing in 2023 after making 141 appearances for England’s Red Roses. Now she is realising her dream of coaching at international level.

When Sarah retired from playing, she was the most-capped women’s international, England’s most-capped player of all time – male or female – and her glittering CV included a Rugby World Cup, World Rugby’s Player of the Year award and 10 Six Nations winners medals.

Sarah cut her coaching teeth at Loughborough Lightning, where she was Head Coach of the university team and Forwards Coach of their Allianz Premier 15s (now known as the Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby) side. 

Having enjoyed that experience so much, England brought in Sarah as the Red Roses’ Transition and Assistant Coach, and deployed her as their Defense Coach at WXV 2023. 

“Coaching at an elite level gave me a real buzz. I wanted to challenge myself to see if it was something I could move into when I stopped playing.”

Reflecting on the challenge of transitioning from player to coach in the same environment, Sarah said: “I've enjoyed the challenge of having to test myself again, in the same environment but in a new role - to help others and to see them grow and be successful. And most importantly, I have loved being able to stay part of the Red Roses.”

“I feel very much part of a new team with our staff, as well as still being part of the team I loved so much as a player.”

Sarah cites her experience in the Gallagher High Performance Academy as a key moment in her coaching career. “The range of workshops that we had, the people we met and the support we received was brilliant.

“I really enjoyed my time in the Academy. I can't wait to continue on this journey as a coach with the Red Roses and to see how far this group can go.”

Last updated: Mar 28, 2024, 2:22:27 PM