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England Women name Nations Cup squad

16 June 2011

  • England Women name 26-strong squad for Nations Cup in Toronto
  • Five newcomers step up from European Trophy England A campaign
Maggie Alphonsi (L) and Katy McLean lift the 2011 6 Nations trophy

Photo: Getty Images

Captain Katy McLean and flanker Maggie Alphonsi headline the England Women’s squad to compete in the Nations Cup in Toronto, Ontario from the July 31 to August 14.

There was no tournament last year due to the Women’s World Cup so England, as 2009 winners, will defend their title against the USA, Canada and South Africa. 

After impressive performances for England A in the European Trophy, Victoria Fleetwood, Natasha Hunt, Sarah McKenna and Kay Wilson are named in the squad and along with Laura Keates, who missed the Euros due to injury, could win their first senior caps.

The five newcomers join a squad of experienced players – including 2009 Women’s Rugby World Cup finalists Emily Scarratt, Sarah Hunter and Danielle Waterman – who this year added their sixth successive 6 Nations title to their list of achievements when they won the Grand Slam.

England Women’s Head Coach Gary Street is keen to make the most of the development opportunity which the Nations Cup offers.

England A international Sarah McKenna, who has been called up to the senior side for the 2011 Nations Cup

Photo: Getty Images

"The five new caps have a lot of potential for a great future. This tournament allows them to step up without the stress of it being a 6 Nations or World Cup," he said.

"While we want to win this tournament, our focus to be on performance and their development.  The senior players have an important role to play in this.

"USA and Canada finished well in the World Cup and South Africa, who now also have the experience of that tournament under their belts, are developing all the time.  It was certainly no easy contest when we played them back in 2009.

"Our priority will be to work on positional units and maintaining a structured attack under pressure.  When you play against very physical defensive teams such as Canada and the USA you have to work at a high level of attack so the Nations Cup is a great opportunity to develop this aspect of our game."

England Women Nations Cup squad

Player Club
Claire Allan Richmond
Margaret Alphonsi  Saracens
Rowena Burnfield Richmond
Rochelle Clark Worcester
Emma Croker Richmond
Rebecca Essex Richmond
Heather Fisher Worcester
Victoria Fleetwood Lichfield
Sophie Hemming Bristol
Natasha Hunt Lichfield
Sarah Hunter Lichfield
Laura Keates Worcester
Jane Leonard Wasps
La Toya Mason Wasps
Francesca Matthews Richmond
Joanna McGilchrist Wasps
Sarah McKenna  Old Albanians
Katy McLean Darlington Mowden Park
Katherine Merchant Worcester
Claire Purdy Wasps
Alice Richardson Richmond
Georgina Roberts Darlington Mowden Park
Emily Scarratt Lichfield
Tamara Taylor Darlington Mowden Park
Danielle Waterman Worcester
Kay Wilson Richmond