- One change for England Women
- England target second-place finish in Six Nations
Photo: Getty Images
England Women’s Head Coach Gary Street has made just one change to the starting line-up that defeated Italy last weekend for Sunday’s Six Nations clash against Wales, kick off 2.30pm at Aberavon RFC.
Following Saturday’s 34-0 victory against Italy, Wasps scrum half La Toya Mason comes in to start ahead of Lichfield’s Georgina Gulliver. On the bench, Street has called up Bristol’s Kim Oliver, who can play at fly half or in the centre. Oliver has been side-lined through injury this season and will make a welcome return to the matchday squad having impressed in the RFU Divisional Programme over recent weeks. Worcester prop Rochelle Clark is also named on the bench after missing the Italian clash.
“I was impressed with our performance against Italy last weekend so I have given the bulk of the squad the chance to start again,” said Street. “It was a tough call to decide who should start at scrum half but in this instance, La Toya just gets the nod.
“The only other changes are on the bench and it’s great to welcome back a player of Kim’s experience. She has 42 caps and is unlucky not to have played this season because of injury. We have definitely got an experienced bench who will bring a lot of firepower to our game.”
Although England cannot defend their Grand Slam crown after defeats to Ireland and France this season, wins over Scotland and Italy means that England can still finish second in the Six Nations if they defeat Wales.
For Wales, this is also a massive game. They know that if they defeat England – something they’ve not done since 2009 – then they will qualify for the Rugby World Cup in 2014.
Street added: “There’s a lot at stake for both teams on Sunday. Wales need no motivation to want to beat England but certainly qualifying for next year’s Rugby World Cup is a massive goal for them.
“For us, we have got a lot to play for. We want to finish second in this year’s championship and I think if we can do that without several of our big name, experienced players, then that’s a good result in a challenging Six Nations year.”
England team to face Wales
15 Lauren Cattell (Saracens)
14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
13 Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond)
12 Amber Reed (Bristol)
11 Sally Tuson (Bristol)
10 Ceri Large (Worcester)
9 La Toya Mason (Wasps) (VC)
1 Roz Crowley (Lichfield
2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
3 Laura Keates (Worcester)
4 Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps)
5 Emily Braund (Lichfield)
6 Sarah Hunter (C) (Lichfield)
7 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens)
8 Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield)
16 Emma Croker (Richmond)
17 Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
18 Sophie Hemming (Bristol)
19 Tamara Taylor (Lichfield)
20 Rebecca Essex (Richmond)
21 Georgina Gulliver (Lichfield)
22 Kim Oliver (Bristol)
23 Emily Scott (Thurrock)
England’s Six Nations fixtures & results
February 2, 2013 – England 76 Scotland 0
February 9, 2013 – Ireland 25 England 0
February 23, 2013 – England 20 France 30
March 9, 2013 – England 34 Italy 0
March 17, 2013 – Wales v England (KO 2.30pm, Aberavon RFC)