In her second BBC Sport column of the 2021 Women’s Six Nations, England prop Shaunagh Brown critiques their win against Scotland and discusses fantasy rugby and the importance of a good hairstyle.
England beat Scotland 52-10 in our Women’s Six Nations opener on Saturday, but now we have to look at ourselves honestly after we let chances go to waste in that game.
We are always looking ahead to the World Cup, which has been postponed to September 2022, and in our review on Sunday morning hosts New Zealand were mentioned.
Against Scotland, we switched off and they scored a try. You cannot give something easy like that away to New Zealand.
Last time we played France we won by a point, so it is about taking our chances when we get them.
We cannot get bored of doing the right thing and going through processes that work for us. We do not have to do spectacular things.
If the forwards need to carry nine times in a row, that might be boring to watch and it is just as boring to do sometimes. But if that is what we need to do, then that is what we have to carry on doing.
With the World Cup in mind, there is talk of squad rotation from our head coach Simon Middleton.
He has put everyone at ease by saying they want to look at different players, it is not because of anything we have done in the game.
You need to have people who can slot in and out in a World Cup squad. No matter what, you always want a start.
When he says about squad rotation there will still be something in the back of people’s minds thinking they could have started if they had played a bit better.
‘My mates say I am too expensive for their fantasy team’
We have Women’s Six Nations fantasy rugby for the first time this year. Most of my mates have not put me in their team because they say I am too expensive.
I do not know how I feel about that. It is nice to be expensive but at the same time I do not want to outprice myself on the market.
There are so many people playing, it seems to be a roaring success which is a sign of progress and engagement with the women’s game.
You have to choose from different nations so it encourages people to learn about other teams they might not normally watch.
We have some of the world’s best playing for England. Emily Scarratt and Poppy Cleall – who won player of the match on Saturday – are on every single person’s team it seems.
Poppy stands out in every game she plays and seeing the offloads between her and her twin sister Bryony against Scotland was so cute.
They know where the space is and they know where the other one is going to put it. Poppy got a bottle of champagne because she was player of the match and straight away she gave it to Bryony.
‘Matchday hair is crucial’
A surprisingly big part of our preparations on game day is how we style our hair. It is actually very important when you have long hair because you do not want it to get in your face.
Prop Detysha Harper does a lot of players’ hair for matches and coaches are on board with making a meeting 10 minutes late because players need to get their hair done.
Detysha braided both mine and Ellie Kildunne’s for the Scotland game. Anyone who had a plait in the game would have had their hair done by Detysha – she set up a little salon in the team room.
We have had different plaiters across my time with England. Rachael Burford would be very strict with an appointments system so it did not interfere with her own matchday routine.
The times would be written up on the door and if you missed your time or if you did not have an appointment you could not get your hair done.
Detysha is very relaxed. There will only ever be a queue of about two or three but some people stress out if their hair is not done by a certain time.
The general style is one or two plaits up the back to stop those bits falling out and some girls have a plait where a fringe would be.
Some players are quite fussy though, myself included. If it is not tight enough, we will take it out and ask for it to be done again.
Last year when we had early kick-offs because we were playing at the same time as the men’s Six Nations, even the coaches were wondering when we were going to get hair done.
They knew we had to sort it because if you look good, you feel good, you play good.
‘It is time for action against racism’
As in previous Test matches, there is a moment of silence before Women’s Six Nations games to mark Rugby Against Racism.
In the past we have stood in a cross formation and we decided not to do that this time. It led to some confusion and in the end only me and one other player took a knee during the silence.
It was no one’s fault because we were not sure what we were doing.
I take a knee out of respect for the movement but the work I am doing in diversity and inclusion is more important to me.
To me, it is just a gesture and it means nothing now. It is not as important as it was and now it is about action.
It is nice for individuals to kneel but it is more important to me that people want to have conversations with me about racism and take action to bring about change.
Shaunagh Brown was speaking to BBC Sport’s Becky Grey.