Katy Daley-Mclean (far right) during her debut in 2007
When Katy Daley-McLean, the semifinal thief, made her England debut against Scotland in 2007, fewer than 300 people were present to watch her.
Twelve years later, the 33-year-old is preparing to face Scotland again as she is nominated for the seventh Six Nations Grand Slam with the Red Roses.
England dominated the tournament this year, scoring more than 50 points in three of its four wins, including one ahead a record crowd of 10,545 at the Exeter Sand Park.
This weekend, Daley-Mclean will face Scotland again, but this is where the similarities between his first and his 107th cap are getting closer.
"In 2007, we were all working so that we could participate in a team race before the game," said the captain winner of the 2014 World Cup, one of the 28 players to have been rewarded. full-time contract in January.
"If we had played on Saturday, we would have arrived at our base, which would have been a much smaller venue, and we have used the Coventry Broadstreet rugby club a lot.
"When I was younger, the women would not normally play at Twickenham – especially not in the last game of the tournament – and we would certainly not have run the team here."
Red roses on tour
England has always played at Twickenham Stoop, but began traveling across the country last year to reach new audiences.
England beat the favorite of the United Nations, France 41-26 Doncaster's Castle Park – a match in which Daley-Mclean exceeded 500 points for his country – before beating Italy 55-0 at Exeter.
English players stayed after the match to sign autographs and take selfies at Exeter.
"Exeter was a bit overwhelming," she added. "Walking 10,500 people who had only come to see us was the first time this was happening outside of a World Cup.
"This is where we want our game to be and I think it should be a regular event."
The crowds were spoiled by the exciting game of the Red Roses, who scored a try every 9.7 minutes on average in the tournament so far.
The wings Kelly Smith, 23, and Jess Breach, 21, have been outstanding. Breach scored seven tries.
"You see the younger girls getting covered now in front of so many people – this shows how fast our game has developed in 12 years and the support that is offered.
"Kelly Smith and Jess Breach are just natural finishers, and as a 10 you need to be able to kick your wingers – what you need in the modern game."
Entry to the Red Roses game on Saturday at Twickenham will be free. The match will start at 19:30 GMT after the end of the men's match.
For this reason, it is difficult to record Twickenham spectators at the women's games, but English rugby officials have estimated the number of spectators at around 10,500 in previous years.
England beat Scotland 60-0 in 2007 and is favorite to win again this year, after having beat them 43-8 in the Six Nations 2018.
The victory would give the Red Roses the opportunity to lift the trophy in English rugby, but Daley-McLean said that 10,500 people do not have as much impact in such a gigantic stadium.
"I love playing Twickenham, but even when there are more than 10,000, it still seems empty because of its size," she said.
"I think that someday we can aspire to fill it in. That would be sensational."
More than 10,000 spectators saw England beat Ireland 37-15 at Twickenham in November