Source: Robbie Stephenson/JMP

England women’s U20 team announced

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England U20 v France U20

England women’s U20 head coach Lou Meadows has named her matchday squad to take on France U20 this Saturday, 8 April (KO 14:00) at Wellington College in the first of a two-match series between the two nations.

Admission to the match will be free, while those unable to attend will be able to watch it live on the England Rugby YouTube channel.

There are two changes to the squad that defeated Scotland Futures 66-19 at Newcastle’s Kingston Park last month, a match from which the players took invaluable international experience.

Kira Leat from Harlequins and Bristol Bears’ Grace White have been called into the 26-player squad and both are the sole England U20 debutants selected.

The second fixture of the two-match series will be played across the channel the next week, with France hosting England in Tours on Saturday, 15 April.

Meadows said: “The team’s performance against Scotland Futures in Newcastle demonstrated the individual talent and huge potential within this squad. It identified some key areas for us to work on as a team and we now can’t wait to get stuck in against France.

“Our next two matches will be our biggest challenge yet. Playing at home and away against a very well organised and physical French side will require the players to not only be at their individual best, but to pull together as a team and show true resilience and, ultimately, pure grit.

“Congratulations to all players on their selection, everyone has worked extremely hard in and out of camp to demonstrate their physical and mental readiness for this tough set of fixtures and I’m confident this will show in their performance on Saturday.

“I’d like to praise the leadership group (Nancy McGillivray, Tori Sellors and Gabriella Nigrelli) as well as co-captains Maisy Allen and Lizzie Duffy on their exceptional leadership throughout the program, which has driven the performance standard of the whole group to a new level. By leading from the front, they will be pivotal in managing pressure over the next two weeks.”

England U20 team vs France U20

Maisy Allen (Exeter Chiefs)
Katherine Baverstock (Loughborough Lightning)
Reneeqa Bonner (Bristol Bears)
Leah Brough (University Worcester Warriors Women)
Katie Buchanan (Exeter Chiefs)
Grace Clifford (Loughborough Lightning)
Amy Dale (Gloucester-Hartpury)
Lizzie Duffy (Sale Sharks)
Steph Else (Gloucester-Hartpury)
Francesca Goldthorp (Loughborough Lightning)
Phillipa Hendy (Gloucester-Hartpury)
April Ishida (Darlington Mowden Park)
Lilli Ives Campion (Loughborough Lightning)
Kira Leat (Harlequins)*
Nancy McGillivray (Exeter Chiefs)
Gabriella Nigrelli (Bristol Bears)
Niamh Orchard (Exeter Chiefs)
Tori Sellors (Worcester Warriors)
Niamh Swailes (Sale Sharks)
Kendall Waudby (Loughborough Lightning)
Lucy Weaver (Loughborough Lightning)
Catherine Wells (University Worcester Warriors Women)
Grace White (Bristol Bears)*
Lola Whitley (Gloucester-Hartpury)
Niahm Williams (Wasps FC)
Nicole Wythe (Harlequins)

*England U20 debut

With thanks to the RFU