Source: Harlequins

Burford returns to play Trailfinders at The Stoop

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Harlequins have named their side to face Trailfinders Women in their first home fixture of the season in the Allianz Cup.

Head Coach Amy Turner makes just four changes to the side that recorded an impressive 29-36 victory over Saracens last Saturday, as Quins look to claim their second win of the season.

‘Rising Quin’ Jessie Spurrier comes into the side at loosehead, joining Hannah Owen and England prop Bryony Cleall in the front-row. Cleall picked up two first half tries against Saracens and will no doubt look to increase her tally at The Stoop on Saturday.

Nicole Wythe starts on the flank alongside the experienced Shaunagh Brown and Co-Captain Emily Robinson in the back-row.

The unchanged half-back pairing of Freya Aucken and Co-Captain Emily Scott remains, but a new look centre partnership sees Rachael Burford return to the field for the first time since December 2022 having been sidelined through injury for much of last season. Burford is partnered by Georgia Gray at 13, whose dominant defensive display as an Impact Player against Saracens, set the tone for the final minutes of the match.

Having blooded seven uncapped players against Saracens, just one of this week’s match day 23 is set to make their debut, as Centre of Excellence graduate Freya Bell is named amongst the Impact Players.

Head Coach Amy Turner said: “Last week’s result against Saracens was a great way to start the season. To beat Saracens in their own backyard with seven new caps I think is a credit to the attitude of the players and what we’re trying to build as a programme. For me it was about the right exposures for the youngsters, and they just showed up. I was just incredibly pleased that the players put in what I thought they could.

“We’re excited to be back at The Stoop again, for the first time in the Allianz Cup. It’s a privilege to be Trailfinders Women’s first competitive opponent, we know this will mean a lot to them as a club and we’re relishing what will no doubt be a physical encounter on Saturday at The Stoop.”

Harlequins Starting XV
1. Jessie Spurrier
2. Hannah Owen
3. Bryony Cleall
4. Lucy Thorpe
5. Emma Wedervang
6. Nicole Wythe
7. Emily Robinson (Co-Captain)
8. Shaunagh Brown

9. Freya Aucken
10. Emily Scott (Co-Captain)
11. Amy Layzell
12. Rachael Burford
13. Georgia Gray
14. Katie Shillaker
15. Jade Mullen

Impact Players
16. Phoebe Wheadon
17. Sheree Cooper
18. Hannah Duffy
19. Chloe Benjamin
20. Lucy Heryet
21. Grace Clavering
22. Ella Cromack
23. Freya Bell

With thanks to Harlequins