Source: England Rugby

England National Academy v Maple Leafs – Team news

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ENGLAND Lead XVs Coach Scott Bemand has named the National Academy squad that will face the Canadian Maple Leafs on Saturday at Esher RFC, kick-off 2pm.

England will compete against the Maple Leafs for the second time this week, having recorded a thrilling 37-29 victory over the visitors on Tuesday, thanks to a strong second half and  a last minute try from Vickii Cornborough.

The series – which will conclude on Saturday – is designed to bridge the gap from U20s into senior international rugby.

There are six changes to the starting line-up for Saturday’s test, with an even split between forwards and backs.

Worcester’s Kelly Smith is named at full back, alongside Lucy Demaine who featured on the bench on Tuesday night. They are joined by Natasha Jones at fly half who replaces La Toya Mason.

In the forwards, Bianca Dawson of Wasps comes in tight-head, supported by club teammate Alexandra Powell in the second-row. Poppy Leitch will start at open-side.

Bemand said: “It will be exciting to see the next generation again on Saturday where we know we will face another strong test, giving players an excellent opportunity to put their hands up for future selection.”

Tickets are available on the gate at £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.

England National Academy v Canada Maple Leafs, Saturday December 5 (kick-off 2pm)

England National Academy

Kelly  Smith; Deborah Fleming, Lucy Demaine, Lauren Cattell, Charlotte  Clapp, Natasha Jones; Bianca Blackburn; Heather Kerr, Lark Davies, Bianca Dawson, Alexandra Powell, Courtney Gill, Poppy Cleall, Poppy Leitch, Abbie Scott


Clara Nielson, Katie Trevarthen, Roz Jermine , Zoe Aldcroft, Joanna Brown, Leanne Riley, Rachel Lund, Georgia Gray, Holly Myers

Report courtesy of England Rugby