Hearing the ‘electrifying’ strains of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ ring around Castle Park helped inspire England to Women’s Six Nations victory over France, according to Lydia Thompson.
A packed house of 4,674 raised the roof in Doncaster and helped the Red Roses push past the reigning Grand Slam champions to a memorable 41-26 victory.
Thompson knows all about what it takes to succeed in the Women’s Six Nations, her try in the final round in 2017 against Ireland helping clinch the Grand Slam.
And the current England Sevens star hailed the influence of the home support as a clear catalyst for Simon Middleton’s side.
“I feel like the energy for the girls would have been electrifying,” said Thompson, who has won 40 caps for her country.
“You can’t hear people, all you feel is this immense energy.
“Sometimes when you score a try it’s like someone’s just turned the volume up. You kind of go “wow” and it really felt like that.
“I think the Swing Low, Sweet Chariot coming from the young girls and the crowd; it was really exciting.
“I think that would have made such an impact for the girls out there.”
Two tries apiece from Jess Breach and Poppy Cleall formed the backbone of the victory, adding to their opening-round win over Ireland on the road.
While a convincing win over last season’s Championship winners will fuel optimism, Thompson spoke from experience in guarding against complacency for the rest of the Women’s Six Nations.
“The girls are very professional – they’ll have done all their analysis, they’ll have done their preparation for the match,” she said.
“Having that scoreline against the French, that is incredible and they should be extremely confident about that.
“But anything can happen in the Six Nations, as we’ve known in the past, and you’ve still got to execute and go out and win each game as they come.”