- First of three internationals against France for England
- Fiona Davidson to captain England
Photo: RFU Archive
The England Women’s Under 20s team to take on France in their first international of the season on March 11 at the Suzan Lenglen Stadium in Paris, which kicks off 930am GMT, has been announced.
The side will be led by the experienced Richmond scrum-half Fiona Davidson who will start her third year in the U20s squad. Lichfield flanker Fiona Fletcher has been named as vice-captain.
Davidson will lead an U20s side which sees 12 players in the 22 set to make their England U20s bow. Four players; Rachael Jones, Amy Needham, Carys Williams and Megan Goddard, have been called up to the squad after impressing in the RFUW Divisional Programme, having initially missed out on selection for the 2011/2012 Under 20s squad.
Amanda Bennett, who is joined by assistant coach Steve Halsey again this season, said: “It is so exciting to see such talent in young players. Although this is a relatively inexperienced squad, we will look to the likes of new players Lauren Cattell and Rachel Jones for big performances just as much as Captain Fiona Davidson, who brings vast experience. Nurturing young talent is rewarding, and this year’s squad has the potential to play some great rugby.
“We have had a relative luxury of a series of training camps which have allowed the squad to grow together and also for us to work hard on team development, game strategy and of course, continuing to build on the core skills.”
England will also take on France on April 4 and 7 at Moulton College as well as hosting the USA in a two-Test series in July at the same venue. They’ll be looking to build on the success of last season which saw England defeat Canada, the USA, France, Wales, Scotland and South Africa, completing a clean sweep of international victories.
Bennett added: “There aren’t many teams who would choose to play three Tests against France in a season as they are such a tough side. However, these games present an opportunity for the England squad to learn from one game to the next and make improvements in performances against high quality opposition. We will be looking for pre-determined goals to be met by the third game and for individual players, as well as the whole squad, to improve in designated areas.
“We have played France twice in the last two years and are all square when it comes to results. We lost in 2010 but genuinely feel our preparations this year are more comprehensive and players have an excellent understanding of what is expected of them, regardless of the environment.”
England Women U20s
(Name, Club, County, Division, Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence College)
15 Georgia Peedle (Saracens, Hertfordshire, London & South East)
14 Rachel Jones (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands)
13 Hannah Edwards (Wasps, Middlesex, London & South East)
12 Louise Dennis (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West)
11 Rebecca Hughes (Bristol, Somerset, South West)
10 Lauren Cattell (Chesham, Buckinghamshire, South West, Moulton College)
9 Fiona Davidson (Richmond, Surrey, London & South East) Captain
1 Mica Evans (Saracens, Hertfordshire, London & South East)
2 Emily Hatherall (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West)
3 Catherine Pugh (Rochford Hundred, Essex, London & South East)
4 Ellen Gattlin (Saracens, Essex, London & South East)
5 Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, Northumberland, North)
6 Fiona Fletcher (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands) Vice-Captain
7 Megan Oaten (Bristol, Gloucestershire, South West)
8 Katie Turnbull (Thornbury, Gloucestershire, South West, Hartpury College)
16 Charlotte Notman (Penryn, Cornwall, South West)
17 Amy Needham (Paviors, Notts, Lincs & Derbys, Midlands, Moulton College)
18 Courtney Gill (Plymouth Albion, Devon, South West, Hartpury College)
19 Carys Williams (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands, Moulton College)
20 Bianca Blackburn (Gloucester, Gloucestershire, South West, Hartpury College)
21 Megan Goddard (Hartpury, Gloucestershire, South West, Hartpury College)
22 Sian McGuinness (Tyldesley, Lancashire, North)
England Under 20s 2011/2012 Fixtures:
March 11: France U20s v England U20s, Suzan Lenglen Stadium, Paris, KO 930am GMT
April 4: England U20s v France U20s, Moulton College, KO 230pm
April 7: England U20s v France U20s, Moulton College, KO 1pm
July, dates TBC: England U20s will play the USA in two Test matches at Moulton College