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England Women ready to defend their Six Nations crown

23 January 2012

  • England looking for seventh consecutive Six Nations title
  • Gary Street's side kick off campaign in Scotland
England Women's captain Katy McLean lifts the 2011 Six Nations trophy

Photo: Getty Images

With just under two weeks until the Six Nations kicks off England Women are aiming high and setting their sights on a record breaking seventh consecutive championship crown.

The reigning Grand Slam champions kick off their campaign against Scotland at Lasswade RFC, Edinburgh, on February 5, kick off 5pm. England then take on Italy in Milan before England’s first game at home against Wales at Twickenham Stadium on February 25. Gary Street’s side then travel to France for a tough match in Paris, before ending the series at Esher RFC on March 17 against Ireland.

Street said: "After six successive wins in the Six Nations and beating the world champions New Zealand in the autumn people might think this title is a given for us but we are definitely not thinking like that. The Six Nations is always tough. Ireland and France have consistently put in good performances, with France most recently beating us in a two test series in France in November.

"Wales too beat us not too long ago, so we know we need to be at the top of our game and give everything we have in every game. We will take this championship one game at a time, but of course our ultimate aim is to defend our title."

England women celebrate victory over New Zealand

Photo: Getty Images

England head into the championship hoping to welcome back some big name players for the campaign. Wasps’ Joanna McGilchrist, Richmond’s Fiona Pocock and Worcester duo Heather Fisher and Danielle Waterman could all be back in the reckoning during the five-match tournament. All four players featured in the 2010 Rugby World Cup and share a massive 136 caps between them.

Street added: "Hopefully we will have handful of our experienced players returning to fitness for the Six Nations while at the same time I will certainly be looking at our young and up and coming players and involving them to ensure we continue to have a wide pool of players available."

England Women's Elite Player Squad

Claire Allan (Richmond) (Centre)
Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens) (Flanker)
Jennifer Brightmore (Worcester) (Lock)   
Rowena Burnfield (Richmond) (2nd Row)
Rochelle Clark (Worcester) (Prop)
Rebecca Essex (Richmond) (2nd Row)
Hannah Field (Wasps) (Flanker)
Heather Fisher (Worcester) (Flanker)
Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield) (Hooker)
Sonia Green (Saracens) (No. 8)
Sarah Guest (Worcester) (Scrum half)
Sophie Hemming (Bristol) (Prop)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield) (Scrum half)
Rose Jay (Lichfield) (Scrum half/wing)
Sarah Hunter (Lichfield) (Flanker)
Charlotte Keane (Worcester) (Scrum half)
Laura Keates (Worcester) (Prop)
Ruth Laybourne (Leodiensians) (Wing)
Jane Leonard (Wasps) (Flanker)
La Toya Mason(Wasps) (Scrum half)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond) (Wing)
Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps) (Lock)
Sarah McKenna (Old Albanians) (Fly half)
Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) (Fly half)
Katherine Merchant (Worcester)(Wing)
Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield) (No.8)
Isabelle Noel-Smith (Bristol) (Flanker)
Kimberley Oliver (Bristol) (Fly half)
Marlie Packer (Bristol) (Flanker)
Fiona Pocock (Richmond) (Full back)
Claire Purdy (Wasps) (Prop)
Amber Reed (Bristol) (Centre)
Alice Richardson (Richmond) (Centre)
Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) (Centre)
Georgina Rozario (Lichfield) (Scrum half)
Emily Scarratt (Lichfield) (Centre)
Michaela Staniford (Wasps) (Wing)
Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) (Lock)
Geraldine Thomas (Wasps) (Hooker)
Amy Turner (Richmond) (Hooker)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester) (Wing)  
Danielle Waterman (Worcester) (Full Back)
Joanne Watmore (Worcester) (Centre)
Charlotte Wild (Lichfield) (Prop)
Kay Wilson (Richmond)   (Full Back)

England’s 2012 Six Nations Fixtures

February 5: Scotland v England, Lasswade, Edinburgh, KO 5pm

February 12: Italy v England, Parabiago, Nr Milan, KO 3pm

February 25: 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: France v England, Stade Charlety, Paris, KO 1.45pm

March 17: England v Ireland, Esher RFC, KO 2pm.
(Live on www.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 16.)