'We were with them in 2010 and we’ll be with them again this time'

Chesham coaches and England stars Rochelle Clark and Kat Merchant will play in the World Cup Final on Sunday.

Chesham coaches and England stars Rochelle Clark and Kat Merchant will play in the World Cup Final on Sunday.

First published in Sport by

CHESHAM Stags head coaching team of Rochelle Clark and Kat Merchant are on the brink of World Cup glory after helping England’s women reach their fourth final in a row last night.

The pair both scored tries as England demolished Ireland 40-7 in their semi-final in Paris.

They will now play Canada in final in the final on Sunday, having drawn 13-13 with them in the group stages.

This will be England’s fourth final in a row although they have lost the previous three to New Zealand.

High Wycombe-born Clark, who is closing in on Amy Garnett’s record of 100 caps, played in two of those defeats.

She said: “I’ve got two silver medals and I’m not quite done yet. I’ve got to get the gold, so I’m definitely more hungry than ever.

“The ultimate goal – my main focus – is to win the World Cup.

“But in the back of my mind I’ve got that 100 caps to go for. Hopefully I can overtake Amy Garnett.”

It was her try that got England going in their last-four clash after Ireland had crossed first for a 7-0 lead, and winger Merchant followed her over to set up a procession.

Incredibly though, despite their march towards history, the pair haven’t taken their eyes off the ball at Chesham.

Chairman Simon Harris said: “They’ve been here for pre-season and introduced a boot camp on Saturdays.

“They left the reins in the hands of a couple of senior guys when they went to the World Cup, but the guys still have to check in with them by text on Sunday, letting them know what they’ve been doing during the week.

“So they’re still actively involved with the club, which is really nice to see.”

Clark and Merchant have been coaching Chesham since 2010, leading them to the Bucks Plate and promotion.

Harris said: “They’ve been here for five years and we’ve done very well with them.

“What they do at country level they bring back to the club set up and the boys are certainly fitter and stronger now.

“It’s really worked out well for us and as a club we’re very proud of them.

“We threw them a surprise party before they went to the World Cup and there will be 30 people from the club going over to support them this weekend.

“Some are out there now, some are camping and some are just going for the day.

“But as a club we were with them in 2010 when they just missed out to New Zealand and we’ll be with them again this time.

“It’s a big weekend for the club, very exciting, but I don’t think it will be 13-13 this time. I think there’s only going to be one winner.”

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