- Sarah Hunter captains youthful side against Canada
- Six players in line to make senior England debuts
Photo: Getty Images
England Women have named their side to take on Canada in the opening game of the Nations Cup at the University of Northern Colorado on July 30, kick off 10pm BST. The game is being streamed on www.usarugby.org/nations-cup.
Acting Head Coach Graham Smith has named Sarah Hunter as captain and has given debuts to inside centre Megan Goddard and wing Julie Hope. There are also four uncapped players on the bench – Mercedes Foy, Justine Lucas, Zoe Saynor and Charlotte Keane.
Smith said: “We have had a very productive start to the tour. The squad is made up of youth and experience and they have integrated well.
“We have trained well and are very hard working in the warm and humid conditions. The facilities here at University of Northern Colorado are excellent and designed for elite performance.
“The side we’ve picked for the first game is a good blend of youth and experience with nine players from the recent New Zealand tour and potentially six new caps.
“In some ways this is a fact finding tour and we are under no illusion as to how tough it will be against three teams who are renowned for their physicality and finesse [Canada, South Africa and USA]. Our main aim as a squad is on performance and individual development.”
England Women starting XV against Canada:
15 Kay Wilson (Bristol)
14 Julie Hope (Carlisle)
13 Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond)
12 Megan Goddard (Worcester)
11 Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
10 Ceri Large (Worcester, vice-captain)
9 Fiona Davidson (Richmond)
1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
2 Emma Croker (Richmond)
3 Laura Keates (Worcester)
4 Rebecca Essex (Richmond)
5 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
6 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield, captain)
7 Isabelle Noel-Smith (Bristol)
8 Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield)
16 Mercedes Foy (Thurrock)
17 Claire Purdy (Wasps)
18 Justine Lucas (Lichfield)
19 Zoe Saynor (Bristol)
20 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
21 Charlotte Keane (Worcester)
22 Emily Scott (Thurrock)
23 Lauren Cattell (Saracens)