World player of the year Emily Scarratt was “shocked” and “disappointed” when the World Cup was delayed to 2022.
Scarratt, who is preparing for England’s Women’s Six Nations title defence in April, had thought any postponement might come sooner.
“By now things are starting to move on with the vaccine programme here,” the 31-year-old told BBC Sport.
“There is the light at the end of the tunnel, so we thought perhaps we would be OK, but it is what it is.”
The Red Roses centre hopes one upside of the postponement will be to give England more time to bed in a new fly-half following Katy Daley-Mclean’s retirement in December.
Scarratt remains close friends with the former England captain and says her departure has removed “a huge voice” from the back-line.
“She had to do what was right for her, obviously from a selfish point of view I was gutted, she’s a fantastic player and she’s helped make me look good for many years,” said Scarratt.
“You look at some of the tens that are filling the void that Katy’s left and none of them are particularly experienced because Katie’s held that shirt for such a long time.
“It definitely does give them that extra year, extra game time, extra training time.
“It is good for people like Helena [Rowland] and Zoe [Harrison] to really step up, they’ve got to stand on their own two feet, so that extra year will be really invaluable for them.”
Away from the rugby pitch, when her schedule allows, Scarratt has been working as a pundit on BT Sport, and sees broadcasting as an avenue she is keen to explore for her life after rugby.
“I think it’s important you make the most of these opportunities,” she said. “I’m very conscious that I won’t be playing forever.”
Her new venture is a YouTube show alongside South African presenter Elma Smit, with 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Mike Tindall also joining them for the first episode.
Scarratt blushes that the title, ‘The Good, the Scaz and the Rugby’, includes her nickname.
“I’ve got quite a bit of stick,” she admitted. “It wasn’t necessarily the one I would have picked but I understand the theory.
“It’s just me, Elma and Mike chewing a bit of fat really, exploring the world of women’s rugby and women’s sport.”
The majority of women’s rugby tournaments and podcasts have struggled to secure regular sponsorship, including the upcoming Six Nations tournament – but that has not been the case for Scarratt and her co-presenters, who have attracted financial backing.
“I don’t think I quite understood the magnitude of that until quite a few people have told me,” she said.
“I’ve realised that other podcasts and people don’t have sponsors, when you realise that it’s kind of mad and yeah, I’m pretty grateful that they’ve come on board.
“I guess now I’m just hoping to go and do it justice.”