England Women head coach Simon Middleton has named his matchday 23 for England’s opening pool game in the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
The Red Roses will take on Spain for the first time in three years when the two sides meet at the UCD Bowl, Dublin, Ireland on Wednesday 9 August, KO 14:00 (Live ITV 4). England last played Spain in the pool stages of the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
2014 World Cup winner Emily Scarratt is set to make her 70th appearance for the Red Roses off the bench, while number eight Sarah Hunter will captain the side.
Twelve players are set to make their Women’s Rugby World Cup debuts including Sarah Bern, Harriet Millar-Mills, Izzy Noel- Smith, Amy Cokayne, Vickii Cornborough, Poppy Cleall and Justine Lucas, who all featured in England’s Six Nations Grand Slam campaign this year.
They are joined by Abbie Scott , Heather Kerr and Zoe Aldcroft in the forwards.
In the backs, Megan Jones and Leanne Riley, who both featured in England’s successful three-Test tour in New Zealand this June, will also make their World Cup debuts.
Full back Danielle Waterman and inside centre Rachael Burford will make their fourth World Cup appearance, having played in every tournament since 2006.
England Women head coach Simon Middleton said: ‘We are really happy with the way our tournament preparation has gone and the squad have worked really hard over the past number of months. Now it’s about translating that hard work and preparation and delivering performance on the pitch. We have a strong squad and want to use the full depth available to us throughout the World Cup. We are looking forward getting the tournament underway.’
England match-day 23 against Spain, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017
15. Danielle Waterman (Bristol, 70 caps)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries, 34 caps)
13. Megan Jones (Bristol, 4 caps)
12. Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies, 67 caps)
11. Kay Wilson (Richmond, 45 caps)
10. Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 86 caps)
9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies, 11 caps)
1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies, 26 caps)
2. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 8 caps)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol, 11 caps)
4. Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 17 caps)
5. Zoe Aldcroft (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 4 caps)
6. Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield, 46 caps)
7. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol, 32 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (Bristol, 93 caps) ©
16. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, 28 caps)
17. Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries, 124 caps)
18. Justine Lucas (Lichfield, 22 caps)
19. Poppy Cleall (Bristol, 12 caps)
20. Alex Matthews (Richmond, 32 caps)
21. La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 66 caps)
22. Amber Reed (Bristol, 39 caps)
23. Emily Scarratt (Lichfield, 69 caps) (VC)
Schedule Pool B
England v Spain
Wednesday 9 August – UCD Bowl, Dublin (KO 2pm)
Live coverage ITV4 from 1.30pm
England v Italy
Sunday 13 August – Billings Park UCD, Dublin (KO 2.30pm)
Live coverage ITV1 from 2pm
England v USA
Thursday 17 August – Billings Park UCD, Dublin (KO 2.30pm)
Live coverage ITV4 from 2pm
Report courtesy of the RFU