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Katy Daley-Mclean talks career, World Cup win and Sale Sharks Women

  • Publish Date: Posted 5 months ago
  • Author: Jamal Niaz

​We caught up with our newest ambassador and one of the most successful rugby players of all time, Katy Daley-Mclean to discuss her storied career and her first season with Sale Sharks Women.

Sale Sharks Women are currently midway through their first season as a side, with a mix of youth and international talent such as Daley-Mclean, there have been some great moments in an action-packed first season in the Premier 15s. The World Cup-winning fly-half explained why a move from Loughborough Lightning to the newly formed club in Manchester was the right move:

“For me joining Sharks last September, they have such a rich history, and the vision Darren Lamon and Michelle Orange had for the club was something that really excited me. To come to a club that wants to redevelop the next generation of rugby playing women was something that I couldn’t turn down”

Earlier this season Katy announced her retirement from international rugby after one of the most impressive careers in an England shirt, winning a World Cup and nine Six Nations trophies, as well as being nominated for World Player of the Year and being named in World Rugby’s Team of the Decade. The Sale Sharks star explained why this was the right time to close the door on her England career:

“International retirement was something that I wasn’t thinking about when I signed for Sale but having a young family and the stage I’m at in my career, it was the right time to do that. I’ve absolutely loved my international career, I’ve seen some amazing places and met some great people and when you know it’s time to walk away you know”


Many of Sale Sharks Women’s current stars balance full-time day jobs with professional rugby which is incredibly demanding both physically and mentally. This is something that Katy isn’t a stranger to, having worked as a primary school teacher during one of the most crucial times of her career:

 “I’ve been very lucky, I stopped working full time in 2014, close to the World Cup. I’ve had the best of both worlds really in terms of still having my normal life and balancing work and rugby. At the time it was really hard in a world cup year, it was about getting up early and making sure those training sessions in because I was a primary school teacher at the time as well. It was about doing it for the children I taught as well, that was the motivation for me and I had great family support”

 She continued:

 “When you’re playing full time you obviously have that extra time to recover and train and get stuck into analysis and skills which you don’t have that spare time if you’re working full time too”

 The former England star explained where her winning mindset came from and what still motivates and inspires her when playing today:

 “For me, I’m a massively driven person, especially when I was younger I wanted to be the best at anything I do. I’ve always loved Rugby and it’s always been in my blood and family, but my main motivation was to be the best at it. Probably a lot of the actions I took were quite selfish because as an elite athlete you have to be focused on the task ahead. Looking back on my career I can say there is immense pride, I’m really proud of everything I’ve done because I set out because I love the game and that’s why I still play today. Playing for my teammates and not letting them down was a massive drive too. In the build-up to the 2014 World Cup and lifting that trophy, I knew my teammates had the same mindset and didn’t want to be the weak link and wanted to be the best they could be, which was the biggest thing in lifting that trophy.”

 Head to our YouTube channel for the full interview and stay up to date with Morson Sport by following us on Twitter@MorsonGroup