Simon Middleton has named his side to face France in the Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-final on Tuesday 22nd August, making two changes to the starting 15 that defeated USA 47-26.
Wing Lydia Thompson (pictured above) makes her return to the starting 15, while Rachael Burford starts at inside centre alongside Emily Scarratt.
England flanker Marlie Packer is set to make her 50th international appearance when the Red Roses face France at the Kingspan Stadium, kick-off 19.45 (live ITV4). Packer who was named Player of the Match against Italy, and scored two tries against USA will start alongside Alex Matthews, who was also named Player of the Match in Thursday’s Pool B decider against USA. Captain Sarah Hunter completes the back row.
Elsewhere Middleton has named an unchanged pack with Vickii Cornborough and Sarah Bern making up the front row alongside Amy Cokayne, who has featured in England’s last 30 matches and scored a try in each of England’s World Cup pool fixtures. World Cup veteran Tamara Taylor starts at lock next to club teammate Abbie Scott.
In the backs, Danielle Waterman earns her fourth consecutive start in the tournament and is joined by Kay Wilson who crossed the whitewash four times in England’s opening pool game against Spain on August 9th. Natasha Hunt and Katy Mclean join forces at half-back to complete the Red Roses starting line-up.
Izzy Noel-Smith and scrum half La Toya Mason return as finishers alongside Rochelle Clark, Justine Lucas, Amber Reed and Megan Jones. Harriett Millar-Mills is also set to earn her 50th international appearance off the bench.
Simon Middleton said: “France are a well organised unit and a team that has been on form in this competition. They have an impressive pack and showed exceptional skill in their pool fixtures, particularly against Ireland. We will need to be at our best to get the job done, and as a team, everyone recognises that. I have the utmost confidence in this squad.
“To compete at a World Cup, playing knock-out rugby, is what every player in this squad has been building towards and training hard for. We are ready and excited for the challenge France will bring.”
England v France, Tuesday 22nd August, Kingspan Stadium. Kick-off 19.45. Live on ITV4.
England match-day 23 against France, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017
15. Danielle Waterman (Bristol, 73 caps)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries, 36)
13. Emily Scarratt (Lichfield, 72 caps)
12. Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies, 70 caps)
11. Kay Wilson (Richmond, 47 caps)
10. Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 89 caps)
9. Natasha Hunt (Lichfield, 39 caps)
1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies, 29 caps)
2. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, 31 caps)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol, 13 caps)
4. Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 19 caps)
5.Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 107 caps)
6. Alex Matthews (Richmond, 35 caps)
7. Marlie Packer (Bristol, 49 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (Bristol, 96 caps) (C)
16. Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens, 63 caps)
17. Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries, 127 caps)
18. Justine Lucas (Lichfield, 25 caps)
19. Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield, 49 caps)
20. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol, 34 caps)
21. La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 68 caps)
22. Amber Reed (Bristol, 42 caps)
23. Megan Jones (Bristol, 7 caps)
Results Pool B
England 56 – 5 Spain
Tries: Jones, Wilson (4), Scarratt, Millar-Mills, Matthews, Cokayne, Thompson
Conversions: Mclean (2), Scarratt
England 56 – 13 Italy
Tries: Scarratt (2), Matthews, Thompson (2), Cokayne, Taylor, Waterman (2), Wilson Hardy
Conversions: Scarratt (2) Reed
England 47 – 26 USA
Tries: Scarratt, Penalty try, Packer (2), Mclean, Wilson Hardy, Cokayne
Conversions: Scarratt (5), Penalty try
Report courtesy of England Rugby