By Gary Heatly
Emma Wassell has been one of Scotland’s standout female rugby players for a number of years now and that fact becomes even more impressive when you find out that she is progressing in her chosen sport while also working full-time with one of the UK’s leading Chartered Accountants and Business Advisory firms.
Since 2014 Emma has not missed a game for Scotland – the second-row is set to win her 46th cap on the spin this Saturday against Italy in the Women’s Six Nations – and over the last five years she has been played a big part at Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) as an Audit Assistant Manager working out of their Aberdeen branch as well.
As a long-established firm with a depth of capability, experience and resource to meet client’s needs locally, nationally and internationally with an emphasis on helping people grow and improve their businesses, it is perhaps not surprising that AAB have helped Emma grow and improve alongside her passion for rugby.
“I’ve been in the job for five years and the team at AAB support me well,” Emma, now 26, said from Scotland’s training camp on the outskirts of Edinburgh this week.
“With the nature of my job, it is a very busy time of year just now, so I’m grateful that I’m able to do this [rugby] as well.
“I have my final CA [Chartered Accountant] exams in May, so I am working towards those just now and the firm have been very supportive and understanding that I had the Six Nations taking place this month.
“I still live in Aberdeen but I’ve been in an Airbnb in Edinburgh lately so that I can be closer to the team for training. We’ve got big games coming up, so I committed to putting myself in the best position with the team, training more consistently together.
“Work still needs done, whether that means me staying up late at night or getting up early pre-breakfast before training and doing it when we’re in Scotland camp then that is what has to happen, but I have support from my rugby coaches and the team at AAB.
“It’s long days sometimes, but I manage it with the help of those around me.”
“We are fully focused on beating Italy”
Scotland lost their opening Pool A Women’s Six Nations match to world number one side England in Doncaster 52-10 on April 3.
In the second half the team played better as a collective and put England under pressure while Emma was a standout during the whole 80 minutes, indeed her performance in the lineout in particular saw her named in the tournament organisers’ Team of the Week.
This weekend Scotland host the Italian side at Scotstoun in Glasgow, the latter having lost 67-3 to England in Parma on April 10.
Whoever wins the game on Saturday will finish second in Pool A and Emma said: “We cannot underestimate Italy at all. They will come out very hard early in the game, they can get the ball wide very quickly and they have got fast, skilful players.
“They can be very unpredictable and that’s something we have to be alert for from the first whistle. And we’ve learnt from our slow start against England that that first 20 minutes will be super important for us.
“We’ve both played England and we’ve both got wrongs to put right.
“Italy will be frustrated after their game last weekend. Their first half performance was really good, their second half not as great, so they’ll want to sort that.
“And for us I think we took away a lot from the second half performance against England. It was about not letting our heads go down because we knew we could play better by having that bit of fight, playing our game and putting a bit of pressure on them – and the way we did that is a big positive to take into Italy.
“We are fully focused on beating Italy.”
France, Ireland and Wales make up Pool B with Finals Day in the Women’s Six Nations on April 24.
Thanks to AAB and Scottish Rugby/SNS for the photos
Scotland v Italy takes place in the Women’s Six Nations on Saturday, April 17 at Scotstoun in Glasgow with a 5pm kick-off and is live on the BBC iPlayer
Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP (AAB) are one of the UK’s leading Chartered Accountants + Business Advisory Firms. With an entrepreneurial flair and technology at the forefront of our delivery we are focused on providing the services that clients need, when they need them, to help them grow and improve their businesses. Across our offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London our team have a depth of capability, experience and resource to meet clients’ needs locally, nationally and internationally.
AAB offers an extensive range of accountancy and business advisory services (40+) ranging from traditional accounting, audit and taxation services to several unique specialisms including highly specialist consulting and global mobility solutions, working in partnership with individuals and businesses of all sizes and requirements, from start-ups to global corporations.
For more information, visit aab.uk