Five Worcester Valkyries have been named in the 33-player England Women squad for the upcoming Six Nations.
The competition, which gets underway on Saturday 4 February, will see every single England Women’s game broadcast on Sky Sports – the first time all of their Six Nations games will be broadcast on television.
There are four new names added to the Old Mutual Wealth Series squad from the autumn, with Bianca Blackburn and Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries), Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) and Leanne Riley (Aylesford Bulls) coming into the England set-up.
The other Valkyries looking to add to their tally of caps are: Rochelle Clark, Laura Keates, Bianca Blackburn and Lydia Thompson.
Former Warriors Community Coach and Darlington Mowden Park Sharks second-row forward Tamara Taylor will be looking to gain her 100th international appearance, entering the tournament just two short of the landmark.
England Women Head Coach Simon Middleton said: “This is a huge year and we now have a squad training full-time. Our preparation is based around a world-class programme and the Six Nations forms a key milestone ahead of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August.
“There is strength and depth in this squad and, while we will be taking one week at a time and working to build through the tournament, our ambition is to win the Six Nations trophy.”
Both England vs France and Ireland vs England will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Mix, launched in August last year, and available free to all Sky TV customers.
Of the broadcast announcement RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie said: “This commitment from Sky Sports reflects what an exciting time it is for women’s rugby and the ongoing growth of the game.
“This is an excellent opportunity for any fans unable to attend games to get behind the Red Roses as they build towards the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland later this year.”
In addition to the women’s matches, all three of England Under 20s home Six Nations fixtures will also be shown live on Sky Sports.
England Women squad
Zoe Aldcroft (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Sarah Bern (Bristol)
Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries)
Poppy Cleall (Bristol)
Amy Cokayne (Lichfield)
Vickii Cornborough (Aylesford Bulls) *suspended from 10 January to 27 February
Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries)
Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens)
Sarah Hunter (Bristol)
Laura Keates (Worcester Valkyries)
Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Justine Lucas (Lichfield)
Alex Matthews (Richmond)
Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield)
Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol)
Marlie Packer (Bristol)
Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Bianca Blackburn (Worcester Valkyries)
Rachael Burford (Aylesford Bulls)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
Megan Jones (Bristol)
La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens)
Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
Fiona Pocock (Aylesford Bulls)
Amber Reed (Bristol)
Leanne Riley (Aylesford Bulls)
Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
Emily Scott (Saracens)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries)
Danielle Waterman (Bristol)
Kay Wilson (Richmond)
Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol)
England Women Six Nations fixtures
England vs France, Saturday 4 February, 7.35pm, live on Sky Sports Mix, Twickenham Stadium
Wales vs England, Saturday 11 February, 11.30am, live on Sky Sports 3, Cardiff Arms Park
England vs Italy, Saturday 25 February, 1pm, live on Sky Sports 2, Twickenham Stoop
England vs Scotland, Saturday 11 March, 1pm, Twickenham Stoop
Ireland vs England, Friday 17 March, 8pm, live on Sky Sports Mix, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin
Report courtesy of Worcester Valkyries