Source: INPHO

Red Roses to host USA and Wales in September

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England Women will play two September Internationals against USA (Sandy Park, Exeter – Saturday 3 September, KO 3pm) and Wales (Ashton Gate, Bristol – Wednesday 14 September, KO 7.30pm).

Tickets are on sale for both matches now here.

Simon Middleton’s outfit return to Sandy Park for a fourth time to take on a USA side which boasts a number of players plying their trade at Allianz Premier 15s runners-up Exeter Chiefs in their ranks including forwards Hope Rogers, Rachel Johnson and Kate Zackary as well as backs Jennine Detiveaux, Gabby Cantora and Megan Foster.

The midweek fixture against Wales will be the Red Roses’ first-ever visit to Ashton Gate. A crowd of 14, 689 watched England take on Ioan Cunningham’s outfit in the 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations at Kingsholm and another large crowd is targeted at a fellow West Country venue close to the Anglo-Welsh border.

Both matches will act as crucial preparation for the team’s Rugby World Cup 2021 campaign which begins on 8 October. Team and venue-specific ticket packs for the tournament are available here, with general admission tickets going on sale from 30 June.

Head coach Middleton said: “We’re delighted to be able to confirm our two September Internationals.

“Sandy Park has got a special place in our hearts. The club and the crowd have really embraced us and every time we’ve been there they’ve put on a sensational show.

“Susie Appleby, her staff and players have been exceptional in the Allianz Premier 15s and had a brilliant season too. It’s an honour to go back there and there’s no better place to sign off ahead of travelling to New Zealand.

“Equally, Bristol’s set-up is second to none. It’s another rugby union hotbed with fantastic tradition, staunch support and it’s great to take a game there and go to another venue we know is massively passionate about our sport.

“Bristol have demonstrated their commitment to the women’s game. We as a coaching group had the good fortune of going into their training facility earlier in year and the integration of the men’s and women’s programmes stood out. Their women’s team also had a very strong season in the league, reaching the play-off semi-finals and deserve great credit.

“These matches are important for all three teams’ preparation before heading out to New Zealand and will be exciting contests. We know the people of Devon and the West Country will come out in their numbers and hopefully we can put on a show.”

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive Tony Rowe OBE said: “As a club we’re delighted to be welcoming the Red Roses back to Devon once again. The rise of the women’s game in England is there for all to see and here in Exeter we’re helping play our part in that growth.

“Not only have we welcomed record-breaking Red Roses crowds to Sandy Park in the past, but our own women’s team are growing year on year and there is a real hunger and passion for the women’s game here in the region.

“Sandy Park has proven over the years that it’s a venue fit for hosting international fixtures, so we’re fully expecting another capacity crowd and the people of the area to come out in force and support England Women.”

Ashton Gate Managing Director Mark Kelly said: “With record-breaking crowds in this year’s Six Nations and more than 4,000 fans attending the Bears Premier 15s game against Harlequins in May, it’s a fantastic time to be welcoming international women’s rugby to Ashton Gate.

“There’s a huge appetite for the women’s game in the city and there’s likely to be Bears involvement in both sides as they prepare for New Zealand. It’s an exciting occasion for Ashton Gate and we look forward to hosting a big crowd.”

With thanks to the RFU