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World champions' stunning Welford Road reception

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World champions Vicky Fleetwood and Emily Scarratt were blown away by the reception they received from the Tigers Family at Welford Road on Saturday.

Leicestershire's Fleetwood and Scarratt were part of the England squad that won the Women’s World Cup in France during the summer, sealing a 21-9 victory over Canada in the Final.

Scarratt, from Desford, scored a crucial 74th-minute try in the Final win during a tremendous individual performance, which also included 11 points with the boot.

Sapcote’s Fleetwood, an ex-pupil at John Cleveland College in Hinckley, the former school of a host of Tigers favourites including Manu Tuilagi, Ollie Smith and Graham Rowntree, was a rock at hooker, playing a huge part in the team’s success and England’s first Women’s World Cup in 20 years.

The Tigers fans were guests of the club on Saturday and received a stunning reception when they were presented to a crowd of more than 22,000 at half-time of the Aviva Premiership clash with Newcastle Falcons.

“The reception we received was amazing,” Scarratt said. “The appreciation we have had from everybody and the support has just been fantastic. To come back here to the team we have supported our whole lives is really quite special.

“To be out on the pitch and be announced, a lot of the fans will have seen the Final and know about it, so it’s not a new piece of information for them which amazing for us.”

Fleetwood said: “It’s been incredible. It is surreal that people know who we are now. So many people actually watched the World Cup and watched that Final and hopefully they will watch more of the women’s game as well.

“I don’t think what we achieved will ever sink in! You get those moments when you are sat on your own and you remember it and have a little smile on your face, but even with things like this you still ask yourself ‘we did that?’.”

The pair later took to Twitter to thank fans for the welcome.

Scarratt tweeted: Overwhelming reception at Welford Road today! Thank you so much Leicester Tigers and all that were there! A place I'll never get bored of!"

And Fleetwood tweeted: "Had a lovely day at Welford Road today! Thanks Leicester Tigers for looking after us, and what a great reception from the crowd at half-time."