England Women squad named for France Test

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Simon Middleton has named his England Women squad for the opening autumn Test against France.

Newly-crowned World Rugby Player of the Year Emily Scarratt takes her place in the group alongside Darlington Mowden Park Sharks’ Heather Kerr and Gloucester-Hartpury Women forward Ellena Perry who join with the squad following their impressive starts to the Tyrrells Premier 15s season.

After scoring seven tries in Wasps FC Ladies’ opening six fixtures, Abby Dow is also included.

Meanwhile, Detysha Harper, who featured for England Women U20s in this summer’s Tri-Nations Cup, will travel as a non-playing reserve to further her development.

The group will assemble at Bisham Abbey tomorrow before flying to France on Wednesday.

England face France at Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont (Saturday 9 November, KO 1310 GMT, live on Sky Sports Mix and Arena) before hosting Les Bleus in their Quilter International at Sandy Park, Exeter (Saturday 16 November, KO 1310 GMT, live on Sky Sports Mix and Action).

They cap off their autumn series with a second Quilter International against Italy Women at Goldington Road, Bedford (Saturday 23 November, KO 1500 GMT, live on EnglandRugby.com and England Rugby channels).

Middleton said: “We’ve had a couple of strong training camps over the last few weeks at which we’ve moved our game on significantly and now we are looking forward to heading to France.

“We’ve said all along, although we have 28 contracted players, we have a wider pool of players to select from in the Tyrrells Premier 15s and wherever possible we will pick on form, that’s exactly what we’ve done.

“Abby Dow and Ellena Perry have both shown outstanding form in the opening six rounds.

“Heather has been outstanding for Darlington Mowden Park Sharks. She’s worked really hard on her game from both a physical and rugby perspective and it’s great to see her hard work starting to bear fruit.

“Abby has been the best back three player in the league this season, scoring some fantastic tries.

“Ellena did outstandingly in the Super Series in the summer and we’re pleased she’s back with us.

“Outside of New Zealand, France is one of the toughest places to go and play. It’s a massive challenge but it’s exactly what we want and we can’t wait to get there.

“We play them away again in our opening match at next year’s Six Nations so it’ll be a good marker of where we are.

“We’ll focus on what we’ve been working on and hope to turn some of the things we’ve been working on in training into reality onto the field.”

Squad list

Forwards

Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury Women – 13 caps)
Sarah Beckett (Harlequins Women – 10 caps)
Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears Women – 28 caps)
Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women – 14 caps)
Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Women – 10 caps)
Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women – 33 caps)
Lark Davies (Loughborough Lightning – 21 caps)
Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens Women – 69 caps)
Sarah Hunter (C) (Loughborough Lightning – 116 caps)
Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks – 19 caps)
Marlie Packer (Saracens Women – 68 caps)
Ellena Perry (Gloucester-Hartpury Women – 7 caps)
Abbie Scott (Harlequins Women – 40 caps)
*Detysha Harper (Loughborough Lightning: non-playing reserve)

Backs

Jess Breach (Harlequins Women – 7 caps)
Katy Daley-Mclean (Loughborough Lightning – 107 caps)
Abby Dow (Wasps FC Ladies – 6 caps)
Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women – 17 caps)
Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury Women – 47 caps)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens Women – 25 caps)
Leanne Riley (Harlequins Women – 31 caps)
Emily Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning – 82 caps)
Emily Scott (Harlequins Women – 32 caps)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester Warriors Women – 44 caps)

Saturday 9 November – France Women v England Women
Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont (KO 1310 GMT, live on Sky Sports Mix and Arena)

Saturday 16 November – Quilter International: England Women v France Women
Sandy Park, Exeter (KO 1310 GMT, live on Sky Sports Mix and Action)
Tickets are available here.

Saturday 23 November – Quilter International: England Women v Italy Women
Goldington Road, Bedford (KO 1500 GMT)
Tickets are available here. 

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