- London & South East seniors face North in Sheffield
- Alphonsi plays in Paris on same afternoon as divisional match
England flanker Maggie Alphonsi will be hoping for double success on Sunday afternoon with her Six Nations fixture against France in Paris to be followed by the latest match for London & South East in the RFUW Women’s Divisional Programme.
Development of players is the principal aim in the divisional programme, which runs at three age levels – seniors, Under 18s and Under 15s – with the London & South East seniors kicking off against the North in Sheffield an hour or so after Alphonsi and her team get started in their Test at Stade Charlety.
Alphonsi is the Talent Identification Officer in London & South East, and so is overseeing the region’s female players hoping to progress from club rugby to representing their county, their division and their country through the programme that forms an integral part of the RFUW Player Pathway.
Having kicked off their three-match fixture list with a 17-5 win over the South West at Newbury on February 26, London & South East seniors have made nine changes to the starting line-up to take on the North, who were 24-14 winners over the Midlands.
Tina Lee, the captain, switches from fly half to scrum half, four players step up from the bench and five come into the XV from outside the previous match squad.
Alphonsi said: “The squad will be without our England U20 players Mica Evans, Ellie Gatlin, Hannah Edwards and Fiona Davidson as they will, like me, be away playing their first match against the French.
“London & South East will also be without England Sevens players Leanne Riley and Emily Scott as they prepare for their next tournament.
“I am very confident though that we have some fantastic players who have all been involved in the programme over the last few years. They are starting to gel well together and will relish the opportunity to play against the North.
“This fixture last year saw London & South East dominate. I feel the re-match on Sunday will be a good one as both teams will be coming off the back of two good wins.
“I’ve got my fingers crossed, knowing the team manager Helen Richardson will text the news through to me in France.
“But, at all times, the main purpose in this programme is for all the players to enjoy themselves while adding to their understanding and appreciation of the game.”
London & South East Women Seniors v North, away, at Sheffield RFC, March 11, 2012 (2pm):
15 Sophie Nicholas (Richmond and Surrey)
14 Holly Myers (Trojans and Hampshire)
13 Stacey White (Wasps and Middlesex)
12 Louise Meadows (Saracens and Middlesex)
11 Charlotte Barras (Saracens and Hertfordshire)
10 Jayne Goodliffe (Richmond and Surrey)
9 Tina Lee (Wasps and Surrey, capt)
1 Sasha Acheson (Saracens and Eastern Counties)
2 Katherine Evans (Saracens and Hertfordshire, vice capt)
3 Ellisha Dee (Old Albanians Saints and Hertfordshire)
4 Sara Anastasi (Richmond and Surrey)
5 Debbie McCormack (Medway and Kent)
6 Becky Roby (Saracens and Hertfordshire)
7 Libby Povey (Richmond and Surrey)
8 Nicola Hoole (Richmond and Surrey)
16 Laura Kapo (Richmond and Surrey)
17 Nat McClarnon (Saracens and Essex)
18 Hannah Field (Wasps and Middlesex)
19 Helena Potts (London Welsh and Middlesex)
20 Claire Phelps (Lakenham Hewett and Eastern Counties)
21 Sam McCarthy (Richmond and Surrey)
22 Elaine Jaxon (Blackheath and Kent)
Head Coach: David Mobbs Smith
Assistant Coach: James Cooper
Manager: Helen Richardson
Physio: Lara Ryan.
Women’s Seniors’ fixtures 2012:
February 26: North 24 Midlands 14, Blackwell Meadows Darlington; South West 5 London & South East 17, Newbury RFC.
March 11: Midlands v South West, Whitchurch RFC, 2pm; North v London & South East, Sheffield RFC, 2pm.
Midlands v London & South East, Five Ways OE, Worcester, 1pm; South West v North, Stroud RFC, 3pm.