Bristol flanker Poppy Leitch will captain England Women U20 when they take on Army Women at Aldershot Army Rugby Stadium on Thursday 16 February (KO 7pm).
Zoe Aldcroft, who has appeared as a substitute in England’s 2017 Six Nations matches against France and Wales, will start at No 8.
Aldcroft and Leitch have 10 senior caps between them and they line up alongside Sally Stott at blindside flanker in an experienced back row.
Saracens fly half Zoe Harrison, who is the leading points scorer in the Women’s Premiership this season with 83, has been named as vice captain.
There are 12 players new to the U20s this season in the squad, with six in the starting line up and six on the bench.
“It’s great to be able to select such an exciting side with a mixture of experience and new talent at this level,” said head coach Jo Yapp.
“The Army fixture is a big event in our calendar and offers us the opportunity to front up against a physical and well-prepared side.
“They have a number of esteemed Women’s Premiership players in their squad who have played in this match before. Seeing how our players perform in this environment is what this fixture is all about.”
Thursday’s game is the first of three this season for the U20s, with the squad also facing France both home and away on 25 February and 17 March respectively.
Entry for the match against Army Women on Thursday will be free at Aldershot Army Rugby Stadium, located just off the A325.
England Women U20 v Army
15. Catriona McNaney (Bristol, University of Exeter)
14. Sophie Tandy (Aylesford Bulls)
13. Ella Wyrwas (Welwyn, Hartpury College)
12. Lagilagi Tuima (Plymouth Albion)
11. Emma Uren (Saracens, St Mary’s University Twickenham)
10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens, Middlesex University)
9. Tazmin Bricknell (Bristol, University of the West of England)
1. Ellena Perry (Saracens, Coventry University)
2. Leah Bartlett (Loughborough, Loughborough College)
3. Ellie Mulhearn (Bristol, Filton College)
4. Molly Morrissey (Lichfield, University of the West of England)
5. Anna Wolf (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, Northumbria University)
6. Sally Stott (Vale of Lune, Edinburgh University)
7. Poppy Leitch (Bristol, University of Exeter)
8. Zoe Aldcroft (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, Northumbria University)
Replacements: 16. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)*, 17. Jeanine Stephenson (Bristol, University of Exeter), 18. Michaella Roberts (Plymouth Albion), 19. Rosanna Moynihan (Welwyn, Hartpury College), 20. Charlie Wilcock (Waterloo), 21. Brooke Bradley (Bristol), 22. Lucy Attwood (Bristol, University of Bristol), 23. Linzi Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, Northumbria University).
England Women U20 fixture list:
- England v Army: Thursday 16 February, KO 7pm, Aldershot Army Rugby Stadium
- England v France: Saturday 25 February, KO 3pm, Esher RFC (free entry)
- France v England: Friday 17 March, KO 7pm, Stade Guy Boniface, Mont-de-Marsa
Report courtesy of England Rugby