Squad Announced For England Women Vs New Zealand

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Bristol fly-half Megan Jones will make her England XVs debut against New Zealand on Wednesday in the second game of the Rugby Super Series at Red Deer Titans Park, Canada, kick off 11pm BST.

Jones, who has a handful of England Sevens caps, is one of 11 changes (two positional) to the starting line-up that defeated the USA on Saturday that Head Coach Simon Middleton has made for this clash. England, who inflicted a 39-13 win on the Eagles, will start against the Black Ferns will an all new front-row. Middleton has recalled Rugby World Cup winners Rochelle Clark and Victoria Fleetwood while Lichfield’s Justine Lucas will play at tight-head prop. In the second-row Tamara Taylor, who captained England in two Six Nations games this season, returns while Sarah Hunter moves to blindside flanker making room for Alex Matthews at No. 8.

In the backs, Leanne Riley will join Jones as a young half-back combination while there is real experience with wing Lydia Thompson and Emily Scarratt, who wears the number 13 shirt with Amber Reed moving to 12, starting.

Middleton said: “Squad rotation for this tournament is key so that is one of the reasons we have made a number of changes. At the same time, we are expecting a step up in opposition against New Zealand so we have brought some of the more experienced names back into the fold.

“Vicky will win her 50th cap at hooker, while Rochelle has now become England’s most capped player of all time with 101 caps. We also have real experience and strength with Tamara, Alex, Lydia and Emily coming back in.

“At the other end of the scale, I am excited to see Megan make her debut. Starting against New Zealand at fly-half will be a big moment for her, but she is a very composed player and has a great all-round game. I have every confidence she will step up to the challenge and her and Leanne will make a dynamic half-back combination.”

England avoided playing New Zealand at the 2014 Rugby World Cup when the Black Ferns were dispatched by Ireland in the pool stages. England last played them in New Zealand in 2013 when the Black Ferns won a 3-0 Test series.

Middleton added: “Against New Zealand, we won’t be deviating from our game plan. We will play the way we want to. We know we need to step up our execution, make more good decisions under pressure and be more cohesive. We are confident we can do that. We also did some great things against the USA so we’ll be looking to replicate that too.

“New Zealand have got some great players, who can really hurt you on the field if you give them the chance. They have great pace, physicality and they are experienced but at the same time they can give you opportunities, and we’ll be looking to make the most of those chances as well as sticking to our game plan.”


15 Sarah McKenna (Saracens)

14 Kay Wilson (Thurrock)

13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield) VC

12 Amber Reed (Bristol)

11 Lydia Thompson (Worcester)

10 Megan Jones (Bristol)

9 Leanne Riley (Saracens)

1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester)

2 Victoria Fleetwood (Saracens)

3 Justine Lucas (Lichfield)

4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)

5 Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)

6 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield) C

7 Marlie Packer (Wasps)

8 Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)


16 Vicky Cornborough (Richmond)

17 Laura Keates (Worcester)

18 Amy Cokayne (Lichfield)

19 Heather Fisher (Thurrock)

20 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)

21 Bianca Blackburn (Worcester)

22 Emily Scott (Thurrock)

23 Ceri Large (Worcester)



Rugby Super Series Fixtures

June 27

England 39 USA 13

Canada 22 New Zealand 40

Calgary Rugby Park

July 1

England v NZ, KO 11pm BST

Canada v USA, KO 130am BST (July 2)

Red Deer Titans Park

July 5

New Zealand v USA, KO 11pm BST

England v Canada, 130am BST (July 6)

Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton