- Sarah Hunter to captain England against France
- Seven uncapped players named in England squad
Photo: RFU Archive
England Women have named their squad to take on France in two away fixtures next month.
Head Coach Gary Street has selected a relatively young side sprinkled with some seasoned internationals as England look to build towards a three-match series against world champions New Zealand later this year before defending their Six Nations crown in 2012.
Lichfield’s Sarah Hunter will captain the side, which includes seven uncapped players in Hannah Gallagher, Rose Jay, Ceri Large, Alexandra Matthews, Harriet Millar-Mills, Lydia Thompson and Isobel Noel-Smith. Both Gallagher and Matthews will make the step up from the England U20s squad.
Worcester prop Rochelle Clark is England’s most experienced player with 61 caps and she is joined by ten players who featured in the 2010 Rugby World Cup.
England, who last played France in the 2011 Six Nations and won 16-3, will play their rivals on November 2 in Marseille and on November 5 in Aix-en-Provence. The first game against France will be an uncapped match, while the second is a full Test international.
Street said: “Playing France in France is always a massive challenge and provides our young players with invaluable experience as they will taste the fierce and tense atmosphere that games over there always create.
"At the same time, these mathces represent a great opportunity as we look forward to our Tests against New Zealand and then the Six Nations next year. We need to ensure we have strength in depth for the season ahead.
“All our uncapped players have come through our under 20s system so have a great deal of experience but this will be another big step up for them and it will be interesting to see how they cope in this sort of environment. It will also be a chance for some of our more experienced players to show what they can do and put their hands up ahead of the New Zealand games.”
Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
Rosemarie Crowley (Lichfield)
Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
Hannah Gallagher (Saracens)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
Sarah Hunter (Lichfield)
Rose Jay (Lichfield)
Laura Keates (Worcester)
Ceri Large (Worcester)
La Toya Mason (Wasps)
Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)
Sarah McKenna (Wasps)
Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield)
Isobel Noel-Smith (Bristol)
Kimberley Oliver (Bristol)
Marlie Packer (Bristol)
Alice Richardson (Richmond)
Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
Amy Turner (Richmond)
Kay Wilson (Bristol)
England Women Autumn International Series
Nov 2 France v England, Jean Bouin Stadium, Marseille, KO 6pm GMT
Nov 5 France v England, Aix-en-Provence, KO 2pm GMT
Nov 26 England v New Zealand, Twickenham Stadium, KO 5pm
Nov 29 England v New Zealand, Esher RFC, KO 7pm
Dec 3 England v New Zealand, Esher RFC, KO 2pm