Source: Richmond FC

Richmond shuffle their backs for trip to Darlington

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Four losses on the bounce have seen Richmond slide out of playoff contention in the inaugural Tyrrell’s Premier 15s, and with a month off after Saturday’s long trip to Darlington, the women would love to sign 2017 off with a victory to help reignite their campaign.

With that in mind, coach David Mobbs-Smith has opted for a few fresh faces among his back line, as Richmond seek to repeat their 27-10 victory over the Sharks from round two. The experienced Abi Chamberlain is the headline mover, as she swaps the 10 shirt for the 15, looking to bring her game management to the back three and help tighten up a defence that has leaked a number of tries in recent weeks.

Alongside her, Alicia McComish retains her spot, while Emelie Hellgren comes onto the other wing after impressing on her Sweden debut a few weeks back. Victoria Britland and Kirsty Lee Griffiths reform their strong centre partnership, while Jade Knight keeps her place at number nine. The fly half shirt, meanwhile, goes to Sanna Vestman-Stromberg, the Swedish 7s player returning to the field to hopefully help inspire the backs on what is sure to be a cold afternoon.

Up front, meanwhile, Mobbs-Smith has opted to do the opposite, with the entire pack who lined up against Bristol retaining their places. The front row of Laura Kapo, Gaelle Mignot and Anna Butler are starting to build a real solidity, while Row Burnfield and Sian Hobday behind them will run and carry throughout the afternoon.

The back row brings power in abundance, with Becky Ball at six and Libby Povey at seven either side of the impressive Chloe Butler at eight. Mobbs-Smith will be hoping the combination of familiarity up front and a new look in the backs pays off and sends his side back up the league.

On the bench, Alex Zdunek and Alice Soper offer options for the front row, with Sophie Barnett and Courtney Treco ready to bring their own power to the pack.

Tess Braunerova, Emily CV Stone and the returning Katie Wallis complete a strong bench, and one with pace and backline options in abundance. If the weather holds up, Richmond will want to move the ball.

Richmond team:

15 Abi Chamberlain
14 Alicia McComish
13 Kirsty Lee Griffiths
12 Vic Britland
11 Emelie Hellgren
10 Sanna Vestman-Stromberg
9 Jade Knight

1 Laura Kapo
2 Gaelle Mignot
3 Anna Butler
4 Row Burnfield (c)
5 Sian Hobday
6 Becky Ball
7 Libby Povey
8 Chloe Butler

16 Alex Zdunek
17 Alice Soper
18 Sophie Barnett
19 Courtney Treco
20 Tess Braunerova
21 Emily CV Stone
22 Katie Wallis

Report courtesy of Richmond Ladies