Saracens captain Lotte Clapp says she'd leave her full-time job to become a professional player as it's her 'dream'
Saracens captain Lotte Clapp has said that she would leave her full-time job to become a professional rugby player as it's always been her 'dream.'
Clapp is a qualified teacher and, while she says the job is fulfilling, she 'couldn't turn down the opportunity' of being a professional player.
The 24-year-old said: "Yes I definitely would [choose to be a full-time player]. I think that would be a huge opportunity to miss.
"It's always been a dream to be a rugby player so I definitely wouldn't be able to turn that opportunity down."
Clapp has led Saracens to two Premier 15s titles and, while she says it is difficult to juggle a full-time job with the captaincy, she insists her situation is not more difficult than any other player.
The winger added: "I wouldn't say it's anymore difficult than being a player itself. The captaincy is about making sure, on game day, I'm having those conversations with Alex [Austerberry, Saracens Women head coach].
"But it's no more than other players with full-time jobs, it's just as difficult for them as it is for me. To be working 8-6 then making sure you get the gym sessions in and going to training as well."
Speaking about what drives her to play rugby at the same time as having a full-time job, the she said: "I've just played rugby since I was 12, the more competitive it is the more immersed you get in it.
"That kind of love and drive [for the sport] you can't drop it, it kind of becomes a part of you.
"I'm a teacher and it's just something I've always wanted to do. Now I've started I absolutely love it and I love the school I'm in and seeing the children improve. So it is a love for both but you have to make sure you keep a balance and not get too tired, but you push through it."
Harlequins are not just Saracens' London rivals, they are also their biggest competition in the league. Rachael Burford, Quins captain, confirmed this to NewsChain this week, so does Clapp agree?
The captain said: "Definitely, we've had two of the biggest finals against one another, they've always been hugely fought games throughout the season.
"Every time we've played against each other they haven't been easy games to call, they've always been down to the wire. You just know when it's a Saracens Harlequins match that it's going to be a big game."
The two giants of women's rugby will be playing each other tomorrow. Both sides remain unbeaten in the league and so this match may prove to be a pivotal moment in the season.
While Clapp recognises that there are a lot of impressive players in the Quins side, she says her team are very aware of Leanne Riley and what threats she presents.
Clapp added: "There's so many great players, I think Leanne Riley really brings that dog about their team. She is always getting in defence and bringing a quick attacking game.
"So Riley is definitely one we're always watching and trying to get her out of the game as much as we can."
The destination for the big clash is The Stoop, Harlequins' home of rugby, a ground that Clapp says is 'amazing' to play at.
The 24-year-old added: "It's a great atmosphere, I love playing at The Stoop. Quins are great at getting lots of spectators there, lots of young players which is great to see.
"It's amazing to play there as you can really hear the crowd because it's smaller [than Allianz Park - Saracens home ground]. It is a really lovely place to play and the pitch is in great condition. I'm really excited."
Harlequins v Saracens kicks off tomorrow at 3pm, you can watch the match on TP15s TV and look out for NewsChain's coverage.