England Women name side for Spain WRWC clash

Aug 4 • General News, International, Rugby World Cup • 1824 Views • Comments Off on England Women name side for Spain WRWC clash

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Lydia Thompson is one of four players set to start her second WRWC game

England Women’s Head Coach Gary Street has made 12 changes  to the starting line-up, including one positional, for Tuesday’s Rugby World Cup clash against Spain, at Marcoussis, kick off 245pm (BST).

Lichfield’s Sarah Hunter will captain the side as Street chooses to rotate his 26-woman squad for the tournament which will see England contest five games in just 16 days. Hunter moves to flanker with Richmond’s Alexandra Matthews making her first start for England since July 2013 and her World Cup debut.

There is also a new front row with Claire Purdy, Victoria Fleetwood and Sophie Hemming starting whilst Rebecca Essex and Marlie Packer get their first WRWC starts in the pack.

In the backs, scrum-half La Toya Mason has been named as vice-captain and she teams up with Ceri Large at fly-half with Katy Mclean rested. Amber Reed and Claire Allan form a new centre partnership for this game.

England Head Coach Street, whose side defeated Samoa 65-3 in the tournament opener on Friday, said: “Because of the schedule of the World Cup it’s key that we rotate our players. Having a game every four days is hugely physically and mentally demanding so our strategy is to rotate the squad and keep the players fresh.

“Rotating the squad means Sarah Hunter is captain for this game and she brings a wealth of knowledge to the role. This is a very different looking team to the squad that defeated Samoa but there are still 575 caps shared between our starting XVs so this is by no means an inexperienced team. We have got the depth so we are going to use it.

“It is exciting to bring back Alex Matthews who has been out for a while with injury. She has been outstanding in our training camps over the last couple of months. Alex is a dynamic ball carrier and gives us another huge physical presence in the backrow.”

England boast a 9-0 winning record over Spain and the two sides last met in the 2012 European Cup and England won that contest 61-0. Spain, meanwhile, opened their Rugby World Cup account with a 31-5 defeat to Canada.

Street added: “Apart from a shaky 20 minutes against Canada in their opening World Cup game, I thought they played some excellent rugby. They have some strong ball carrying forwards and some quick athletic backs from the Sevens programme. After one defeat they are going to be fighting all out for a spot in the knockout stages.”


15 Danielle Waterman (Bristol)

14 Kay Wilson (Bristol)

13 Claire Allan (Richmond)

12 Amber Reed (Bristol)

11 Lydia Thompson (Worcester)

10 Ceri Large (Worcester)

9 La Toya Mason (Wasps) VC

1 Claire Purdy (Wasps)

2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)

3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol)

4 Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps)

5 Rebecca Essex (Richmond)

6 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield) C

7 Marlie Packer (Wasps)

8 Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)


16 Emma Croker (Richmond)

17 Laura Keates (Worcester)

18 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)

19 Heather Fisher (Worcester)

20 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)

21 Rachael Burford (Thurrock)

22 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)

England’s WRWC Fixtures:

Friday, August 1

England 65 Samoa 3

Tuesday, August 5

England v Spain, KO 245pm BST, Marcoussis, live on Sky Sports 1

Saturday, August 9 

England v Canada, KO 245pm BST, Marcoussis, live on Sky Sports 1

Wednesday, August 13

(19) 10th Seed v 11th Seed, KO 1pm BST, Marcoussis

(20) 9th Seed v 12th Seed, KO 315pm BST, Marcoussis

(21) 6th Seed v 7th Seed, KO 530pm BST, Marcoussis

(22) 5th Seed v 8th Seed, KO 245pm BST, Jean Bouin Stadium

(23) 2nd Seed v 3rd Seed, KO 5pm BST, Jean Bouin Stadium

24) 1st Seed v 4th Seed, KO 745pm BST, Jean Bouin Stadium

Sunday, August 17

Loser Match 19 v Loser Match 20, KO 11am BST, Marcoussis

Winner Match 19 v Winner Match 20, KO 1pm BST, Marcoussis

Loser Match 21 v Loser Match 22, KO 3pm BST, Marcoussis

Winner Match 21 v Winner Match 22, KO 115pm BST, Jean Bouin Stadium

Loser Match 23 v Loser Match 24, KO 330pm BST, Jean Bouin Stadium

Winner Match 23 v Winner Match 24, KO 545pm BST, Jean Bouin Stadium

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