- England to face the USA in Nations Cup opener
- Six new caps in 22
The England Women’s team to take on the USA in the Nations Cup opener on Tuesday August 2 at Appleby College in Ontario, kick off 11.30pm BST, has been announced.
England Head Coach Gary Street, whose side are the defending Nations Cup champions and go into the tournament on the back of a sixth successive RBS 6 Nations title win, has named six new caps in his 22, including three in the starting line-up.
Worcester prop Rochelle Clark will be the experienced head in a new look front row with both Lichfield’s Victoria Fleetwood and Worcester’s Laura Keates getting their first starts for England at hooker and tight-head prop respectively. Richmond’s Kay Wilson will also make her England debut on the wing. Richmond duo Alice Richardson and Claire Allan, meanwhile, will also mark their return to international XVs rugby in nearly a year with Richardson starting at centre and Allan on the bench.
Darlington Mowden Park Sharks’ Katy McLean will once again captain England with Margaret Alphonsi as vice captain.
Street said: "This competition is an ideal opportunity to develop new combinations and introduce new caps at international level. All six of our new caps are in this 22 for the first game and a new challenge of playing the USA is really important in their overall development programme. We’ll be looking over the first two games to give a good amount of game time to all of the squad and I’m looking forward to seeing the players stepping up to the challenge.
"The USA are one of the best sides in the world and always present a fully committed and physical challenge. With a new coaching set-up we are not sure what to expect of them but we are excited at the prospect of this match."
Nations Cup match action is available at www.womensnationscup.com
England team to face USA
15 Danielle Waterman (Worcester)
14 Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
12 Alice Richardson (Richmond)
11 Kay Wilson (Richmond)
10 Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park) (C)
9 La Toya Mason (Wasps)
1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
3 Laura Keates (Worcester)
4 Rebecca Essex (Richmond)
5 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park)
6 Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps)
7 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens) VC
8 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield)
16 Amy Garnett (Saracens)
17 Sophie Hemming (Bristol)
18 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
19 Jennifer Brightmore (Worcester)
20 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
21 Sarah McKenna (Old Albanians)
22 Claire Allan (Richmond)
England Nations Cup playing schedule (Appleby College, Ontario):
August 2 USA v England KO 1130pm BST
August 5 South Africa v England KO 930pm BST
August 9 Canada v England KO 1130pm
August 13 Finals Day KO TBC