- Captain Katy Mclean set for 70th cap
- First RWC starts for Natasha Hunt, Laura Keates and Lydia Thompson
England Women’s Head Coach Gary Street has named his team for Friday’s Rugby World Cup opener against Samoa at Marcoussis in France, kick off 5pm BST.
Darlington Mowden Park fly half Katy Mclean will captain the side and at the same time earn her 70th cap for her country, while Lichfield Number 8 Sarah Hunter is named as vice-captain.
Prop Laura Keates, scrum half Natasha Hunt and wing Lydia Thompson are all set to make their WRWC debuts as will Victoria Fleetwood, Marlie Packer, Ceri Large and Kay Wilson if they come off the bench.
Photo: Getty Images
Street, whose side finished second at the 2010 WRWC, said: “We are really excited that the World Cup is about to start. We have been in camp for a long time and we have done all we can. Now we are looking forward to getting on the pitch and hearing that first whistle blow.
"We have named a strong squad with 15 players having had World Cup experience under their belts already. That is going to give us a good mental edge for the start of the campaign.
"Samoa will no doubt be difficult opposition. They have got some talented players who play in the New Zealand NPC series. They have some big ball carriers and we know they'll be well prepared after playing New Zealand a couple of months ago. We are expecting a tough battle for our first game."
England Women's team to face Samoa
15 Danielle Waterman (Bristol)
14 Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
12 Rachael Burford ( Thurrock)
11 Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
10 Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
9 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
2 Emma Croker (Richmond)
3 Laura Keates (Worcester)
4 Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps)
5 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
6 Heather Fisher (Worcester)
7 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens)
8 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield)
16 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
17 Claire Purdy (Wasps)
18 Rebecca Essex (Richmond)
19 Marlie Packer (Wasps)
20 La Toya Mason (Wasps)
21 Ceri Large (Worcester)
22 Kay Wilson (Bristol)
England’s WRWC Fixtures
Friday, August 1
England v Samoa, KO 5pm BST, Marcoussis, Sky Sports 3
Tuesday, August 5
England v Spain, KO 245pm BST, Marcoussis, Sky Sports 1
Saturday, August 9
England v Canada, KO 245pm BST, Marcoussis, Sky Sports 1
Wednesday, August 13
Sunday, August 17
WRWC Final, KO 545pm BST, Jean Bouin Stadium, Sky Sports 4