December 15th, 2008
The England Women's team to take on the Ireland President's XV at St. Mary's RFC in Dublin on Saturday December 20th, kick-off 230pm, has today been announced.
England Head Coach Gary Street has named an experienced line-up for the match that will see Bristol Ladies No. 8 Catherine Spencer lead the side into their first international of the season.
England youngsters Emily Scarratt (Lichfield) and Francesca Matthews (Richmond) have been named in the starting line-up after impressive performances during England's successful Nations Cup campaign. Richmond's Rowena Burnfield and Rebecca Essex are also on the bench for the first time and if they get a start will earn their first cap.
The game will be paramount to England's preparations ahead of their defence of the RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam in February. England will go into that tournament hoping to add a fourth consecutive Six Nations crown.
England Head Coach Gary Street said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for us pre-Christmas to look at our players and our new combinations with the RBS 6 Nations just around the corner.
"We have got two players in Rowena Burnfield and Becky Essex who could make their debuts on Saturday so I am looking forward to seeing them in action, as well as playing against an Ireland team, who last season were our most improved opponents. I am sure they'll give us a stiff challenge."
1 Rochelle Clark Blaydon
2 Amy Garnett Saracens
3 Katy Storie Blaydon Team Northumbria
4 Natalie Binstead Wasps
5 Joanna McGilchrist Wasps
6 Karen Jones Richmond
7 Margaret Alphonsi Saracens
8 Catherine Spencer (C) Bristol
9 Amy Turner Richmond
10 Katy McLean (VC) Darlington Mowden Park Sharks
11 Francesca Matthews Richmond
12 Alice Richardson Richmond
13 Emily Scarratt Lichfield
14 Katherine Merchant Worcester
15 Danielle Waterman Blaydon
16 Emma Layland Richmond
17 Sophie Hemming Bristol
18 Rowena Burnfield Richmond
19 Rebecca Essex Richmond
20 Georgina Rozario Plymouth Albion
21 Michaela Staniford Wasps
22 Charlotte Barras Saracens