England Women U20 head coach Jo Yapp today named her starting 15 for the England Women U20 team’s first friendly fixture of the 2017/2018 season against the Army at the Army Rugby Stadium, Aldershot on Wednesday 14th February, K.O. 7:00pm.
Emma Uren (Saracens Women) captains the side with 13 players set to make their England U20 debuts, including six players; Lillian Stoegar-Goddard (Bristol Ladies), Phoebe Murray (Bristol Ladies), Helena Rowland (Saracens Women), Tazmin Bricknell (Gloucester-Hartpury), Tabitha Copson (Gloucester-Hartpury) and Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo Ladies) earning starting positions.
Bristol Ladies duo Phoebe Murray and Lucy Attwood form the centre partnership with Tazmin Bricknell (Gloucester Hartpury) and Helena Rowland (Saracens Women) – who is in the top five highest points scorers in the Tyrrells Premier 15s – at nine and ten.
Lillian Stoeger-Goddard (Bristol Ladies) – who has scored 13 tries in the Tyrrells Premier 15s this season – and Brooke Clarke (Worcester Valkyries) on the wings.
In the scrum, Ellena Perry (Saracens Women), Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning) and Ellie Mulhearn (Bristol Ladies) make up the front row. Hollie Cunningham (Bristol Ladies) joins Rosie Galligan (Saracens Women) in the second row.
In the back row, Sarah Beckett starts at No.8 with Charlie Wilcock (Worcester Valkyries) at open side flanker and Tabitha Copson (Gloucester – Hartpury) included at blindside flanker.
The bench includes seven players new to the England U20 programme this season; Akina Gondwe (Worcester Valkyries), Connie Powell (Gloucester-Hartpury), Rianna Manson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) and Hannah Botterman ( Saracens Women) who earned two caps for England during the Old Mutual Wealth Series in 2017, along with Michaella Roberts (Bristol Ladies) who featured in last season’s U20’s programme.
Players Cara Brincat (Worcester Valkyries), who was part of the winning England U18 sevens squad that played in Vichy last September, along with Emma Hardy (Loughborough Lightning) who was initially named in the talent development group for this season and Lizzie Adam (Loughborough Lightning) have been invited into the U20 squad and are named on the bench.
England Women U20 head coach Jo Yapp today said: “We are really excited to see this young team come together on Wednesday for their first fixture of the season. It’s a great development opportunity for the squad to play against the Army, a side who are experienced, physical and well organised.
“We have a strong player pathway in place, with a number of the current U20’s squad progressing through from last season’s U18 Talent Development Group. Combined with the Tyrrells Premier 15s, we have seen accelerated development in players as they get consistent playing time at senior level, against quality opposition. Through Premier 15s we have also been able to identify and invite players in that are currently on form and proving themselves at a high level.”
Yapp added: “We have seen a number of players transition early from the U20 programme and go onto represent England at senior international level and I have no doubt that players in this squad will go on to do same.”
England Women U20 match day 24 to play Army
*denotes U20’s player making debut
15. Emma Uren © (Saracens Women)
14. Lilian Stoeger-Goddard (Bristol Ladies)*
13. Phoebe Murray (Bristol Ladies)*
12. Lucy Attwood (Bristol Ladies)
11. Brooke Clarke (Worcester Valkyries)
10. Helena Rowland (Saracens Women)*
9. Tazmin Bricknell (Gloucester-Hartpury Women RFC)*
1. Ellena Perry (Saracens Women)
2. Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning)
3. Ellie Mulhearn (Bristol Ladies)
4. Hollie Cunningham (Bristol Ladies)
5. Rosie Galligan (Saracens Women)
6. Tabitha Copson (Gloucester- Hartpury Women)*
7. Charlie Wilcock (Worcester Valkyries)
8. Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo Ladies)*
16. Michaella Roberts (Bristol Ladies)
17. Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women)*
18. Akina Gondwe (Worcester Valkyries)*
19. Connie Powell (Gloucester-Hartpury Women)*
20. Rianna Manson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)*
21. Cara Brincat (Worcester Valkyries)*
22. Ella Wyrwas (Saracens Women)
23. Emma Hardy (Loughborough Lightning)*
24. Lizzie Adam (Loughborough Lightning)*
England Women U20 games 2017-2018
England Women U20 v Army
Army Rugby Stadium, 14th February KO 7:00pm
Free for spectators, for more details visit www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk
France Women U20 v England Women U20
Stadium Nord, Villeneuve d’Ascq, Lille
24th February, K.O 14:00 GMT (15:00 Local time)
England Women U20 v France Women U20
Basingstoke RFC, 17th March 2018, KO 7:30pm
Visit http://www.basingstokerfc.com/ for details
Report courtesy of the RFU