Source: ©INPHO/Craig Watson

England announce team to play Canada

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Head coach Simon Middleton has named his England Women side to take on Canada at Twickenham Stoop on Sunday (kick-off 2.30pm, live on BBC Two).

Flanker Sadia Kabeya and Harlequins back Heather Cowell are in line to earn their first caps.

The Red Roses’ third autumn international is also set to be a special day for Abbie Ward (lock) and Poppy Cleall (No.8), who are both set to reach 50 caps.

Captain Sarah Hunter returns to the starting XV at blindside flanker.

Saracens full back Sarah McKenna will make her first start of the 2021 autumn internationals, Zoe Harrison and Helena Rowland make up the 10-12 axis once again while Claudia MacDonald starts at scrum half.

Prop Hannah Botterman (loosehead) returns to the front row while Amy Cokayne and Sarah Bern retain their places.

Lagi Tuima comes in at outside centre while Zoe Aldcroft (second row) and Abby Dow (wing) retain their spots.

Marlie Packer, Maud Muir and Leanne Infante are named along the finishers.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.

Middleton said: “I’m delighted with the results and performances of our opening two games against New Zealand, both of which were also fantastic occasions.

“Our attentions have now shifted and we are fully focussed on Sunday’s game against Canada.

“Abbie and Poppy have been an integral part of our squad for a number of years and we’re looking forward to celebrating and acknowledging their 50th caps at The Stoop.

“We’re delighted to give two players their first caps.

“Sadia has been brilliant since she came into camp in pre-season. She’s a fantastic athlete and someone we’ve been aware of for a long time.

“A winger’s job is to score tries and Heather Cowell does just that. The way she goes about her business is brilliant.

“Both players deserve their starts.

“Canada are a very strong and physical side and we know we need to be at our best to come out on top.

“Preparations have gone well this week and we’re all looking forward to Sunday’s game.”

England Women team to play Canada

15. Sarah McKenna (Saracens, 38 caps)
14. Heather Cowell (Harlequins, uncapped)
13. Lagi Tuima (Harlequins, 10 caps)
12. Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning, 8 caps)
11. Abby Dow (Wasps, 20 caps)
10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens, 32 caps)
9. Claudia MacDonald (Wasps, 17 caps)

1. Hannah Botterman (Saracens, 24 caps)
2. Amy Cokayne (Harlequins, 59 caps)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears, 38 caps)
4. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury, 26 caps)
5. Abbie Ward (Bristol Bears, 49 caps)
6. Sarah Hunter (C; Loughborough Lightning, 128 caps)
7. Sadia Kabeya (Loughborough Lightning, uncapped)
8. Poppy Cleall (VC; Saracens, 49 caps)


16. Lark Davies (Loughborough Lightning, 33 caps)
17. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins, 62 caps)
18. Maud Muir (Wasps, 2 caps)
19. Harriet Millar-Mills (Wasps, 64 caps)
20. Alex Matthews (Worcester Warriors, 43 caps)
21. Marlie Packer (Saracens, 78 caps)
22. Leanne Infante (Bristol Bears, 46 caps)
23. Holly Aitchison (Saracens, 2 caps)

With thanks to England Rugby