Source: World Rugby

Emily Scarratt to lead England against Italy

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England Women head coach Simon Middleton has made 10 changes to the starting 15 who face Italy on 13 August in the second pool game of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Billings Park, Dublin, Ireland (KO 14:30 ITV 1).

Emily Scarratt will lead the side, starting at inside centre, with regular captain Sarah Hunter on the bench.

In the backs, England wing and Olympian, Amy Wilson-Hardy makes her World Cup debut alongside 2014 World Cup winners, Natasha Hunt, who makes her first appearance of the tournament at scrum half, and Amber Reed starting at fly half.

In the forwards, Marlie Packer will make her first 2017 World Cup outing at flanker with lock Tamara Taylor appearing in her fourth World Cup.

England’s most capped player Rochelle Clark is named at loose-head prop for her 126th international appearance,  joined in the front row by Justine Lucas and Amy Cokayne, who earned her first international honours for England against Italy in 2015.

Izzy Noel-Smith moves to blind-side flanker and Alex Matthews who scored a try in England’s opening pool game against Spain starts at No 8.

England Women head coach Simon Middleton said: “We have options available to us in terms of selection and running different combinations. We want to take full advantage of the depth, talent and experience in the squad. Our aim is to continually build and improve on performance, the team have recovered well and have been working hard over the past two days to ensure we are fully prepared for the next challenge.”

Middleton added: “We are expecting a tough and physical encounter. Italy have caused us plenty of problems in the past and are an incredibly talented side.”

England has faced Italy in two previous World Cups in 1991 and 2002 and last played in 2017 Six Nations where England secured a hard fought 29-15 win.

England match-day 23 against Italy, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017

15. Danielle Waterman (Bristol, 71 caps)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries, 33 caps)
13. Emily Scarratt (Lichfield, 70 caps) ©
12. Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies, 68 caps)
11. Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol, 7 caps)
10. Amber Reed (Bristol, 40 caps)
9. Natasha Hunt (Lichfield, 37 caps)

1. Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries, 125 caps)
2. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, 29 caps)
3. Justine Lucas (Lichfield, 23 caps)
4. Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 106 caps)
5. Zoe Aldcroft (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 5 caps)
6. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol, 33 caps)
7. Marlie Packer (Bristol, 47 caps)
8. Alex Matthews (Richmond, 33 caps)

16. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 9 caps)
17. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies, 27 caps)
18. Poppy Cleall (Bristol, 13 caps)
19. Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield, 47 caps)
20. Sarah Hunter (Bristol, 94 caps)
21. La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 67 caps)
22. Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 87 caps)
23. Megan Jones (Bristol, 5 caps)

Schedule Pool B

England 56 v 5 Spain
Tries: Jones, Wilson (4), Scarratt, Millar-Mills, Matthews, Cokayne, Thompson
Conversions: Mclean (2), Scarratt

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 England Rugby