Scarborough's England star Zoe Aldcroft sets sights on TikTok Women's Six Nations hat-trick

Scarborough’s England star Zoe Aldcroft won’t ever forget the moment she was crowned World Rugby’s Player of the Year for 2021 but is hell-bent on making more memories in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations.

By Andy Bloomfield
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 8:42 am
Scarborough's England rugby star Zoe Aldcroft
Scarborough's England rugby star Zoe Aldcroft

The 25-year-old is spearheading the Red Roses’ pursuit of a third consecutive Championship and a Grand Slam would be the perfect preparation for the world’s number one side ahead of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand this autumn.

Former Scarborough RUFC juniors player Aldcroft has been a colossal figure at the heart of Simon Middleton’s forward pack and despite the global recognition boosting her confidence, insists individual accolades are banished from her thoughts.

“It was amazing, and I honestly couldn’t believe that I won it. It was a moment I’ll remember forever,” she said reflecting on her December triumph.

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Scarborough's England rugby star Zoe Aldcroft

“But I’m not really thinking too much about it to be honest with you. I’m just concentrating on playing each match and hopefully doing what I usually do and making it a successful tournament for the team.”

The defending champions face a tricky test first up this Saturday against a buoyant Scotland side fresh from a 59-3 win over Colombia that secured their place at a first World Cup for 12 years.

And despite a comfortable 52-10 victory at home last year, Aldcroft knows the Auld Enemy will provide a stern test when they travel to the Dam Health Stadium in round one.

She added: “They just qualified for the World Cup in Dubai, so they will be on a massive high now.

“I think it will be a really competitive game up in Edinburgh and we are really looking forward to getting the Six Nations started really.”

England’s staggering unbeaten run now stands at an incredible 18 games after pulling off two record victories over reigning world champions the Black Ferns as well as recording wins against USA and Canada. Despite maintaining their aura of invincibility, Aldcroft revealed England still have areas where they wish to improve ahead of the start of the Championship.

“We are hoping to build on our performances from the autumn, it’s about lifting off from where we ended their which was quite high, but we knew we had things to work on,” said Aldcroft, who got her first taste of international captaincy in the 89-0 win over USA in November but will return the armband to Sarah Hunter for this campaign.

“There’s a lot of on-field stuff around leadership and communication that we are really working on at the moment and hopefully we can put that into play during the Six Nations and the World Cup in New Zealand.”

The Red Roses won last year’s shortened Women’s Six Nations courtesy of a narrow 10-6 win over France in the final and although Aldcroft knows the squad must not get ahead of themselves she admits a trip to Bayonne in the final round of fixtures jumps out as a potential Championship decider.

Aldcroft said: “We have got that game in the back of our heads, but it is about playing each week as it comes, concentrating on that team for that week and not looking too far ahead.

“We do have France in the back of our minds and that will be a big one to end on.”

With the arrival of TikTok as the Women’s Six Nations’ first title sponsor together with the return of fans and a full Championship in its own dedicated window outside of the men’s and U20s editions, there is plenty for players like Aldcroft to relish in 2022.

She said: “I don’t think there’s any other place where we could get the amount of exposure that TikTok is going to bring for us, I hope this will be good for the future generation.

“It’s amazing to have full sold-out stadiums back for the Six Nations. Our fans are amazing in England and the more support we get, the more we like to put on a show for everyone out there who supports us.

“And hopefully, the supporters that follow the men in the Guinness Six Nations can now come and support us in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations as it’s an elongated Six Nations for everybody basically!”

The TikTok Women’s Six Nations kicks off on March 26 with the game changing heroes of the Women’s game going head-to-head. Visit https://womens.sixnationsrugby.com/