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England Women’s team named to take on Italy

07 February 2012

  • No.8 Sarah Hunter to captain England
  • Six Nations starts for Clark, Taylor, Mason and Oliver
Lichfield Number 8 Sarah Hunter will captain England against Italy

Photo: rugbymatters.net 

England Women’s Head Coach Gary Street has rung the changes ahead of Sunday’s Six Nations clash against Italy at the Centro Sportivo in Parabiago, Milan, kick off 2pm.                                             

On the back of England’s opening nine try, 47-0, victory against Scotland, England head to Italy in confident spirits.

Lichfield No.8 Sarah Hunter will skipper England with captain Katy McLean rested on the bench. There are also first Six Nations starts this season for Worcester’s Rochelle Clark, Darlington Mowden Park Sharks’ Tamara Taylor, Wasps’ La Toya Mason and Bristol’s Kim Oliver.

Hooker Amy Tuner and prop Laura Keates come off the bench to form a new front row partnership with Clark, while Ceri Large and Mason pair at half back. Wing Georgina Roberts is also called off the bench to start alongside Kay Wilson whilst Lichfield’s Emily Scarratt moves to full back.

Street, whose side are gunning for a seventh consecutive title and another Grand Slam, said: "I am delighted to welcome back some of our more experienced players for our game against Italy.

"They will bring calmness and experience to our squad and help to take our performance up another level, whilst some of our younger players [including] Ceri Large, Laura Keates and Izzy Noel-Smith will have the chance to stake their claim for the shirt as they start.

"We had a good result against Scotland to kick start our campaign, but there is a lot to improve on, including our execution and I will be looking for the team to do that this weekend. Italy had a good second half against an on-form French side last weekend, conceding only one try in that period, so we are expecting an even tougher game this Sunday."

England

15        Emily  Scarratt (Lichfield)
14        Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
13        Rachael Burford (VC) (Richmond)
12        Kimberley Oliver (Bristol)
11        Kay Wilson (Bristol)
10        Ceri Large (Worcester)
9          La Toya Mason (Wasps)

1          Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
2          Amy Turner (Richmond)
3          Laura Keates (Worcester)
4          Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
5          Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
6          Isabelle Noel-Smith (Bristol)
7          Marlie Packer (Bristol)
8          Sarah Hunter (C) (Lichfield)

Replacements:                                

16        Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
17        Claire Purdy (Wasps)
18        Emily Braund (Lichfield)
19        Hannah Gallagher (Saracens)
20        Georgina Rozario (Lichfield)
21        Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
22        Katherine Merchant (Worcester)

England’s Six Nations Fixtures

February 5, 2012, Scotland v England, Lasswade, Edinburgh, KO 5pm
February 12, 2012, Italy v England, Parabiago, Nr Milan, KO 3pm
February 25, 2012, England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium, KO 6.15pm
(Live on the BBC Red Button and on www.bbc.co.uk/sport. Free entry to the stadium after the men’s Six Nations match)
March 11, 2012, France v England, Stade Charlety, Paris, KO 1.45pm
March 17, 2012 England v Ireland, Esher RFC, KO 2pm
(Live onwww.rfu.com/englandwomenlive.com. Tickets can be purchased on game day on the gate or online at http://www.esherrugby.com/ticket_sales.html, priced £10 for adults, £5 for Under)