England U18 Elite Player Squad selected ahead of Six Nations Festival

  • +1

England U18 Women head coach James Cooper has selected his 2024 Elite Player Squad ahead of this year’s U18 Women’s Six Nations Festival.  

Worcester-based trio Nat Evans, Haineala Lutui and Sarah Parry, complemented with Daisy Aspinall, Lauren Bailey, Evie Haskell, Heidi Pashaei Tarighoun, Lucie Sams and Lucy Simpson, are the nine previously-capped players at pathway level involved in Cooper’s set-up once again in 2024.

The 35-strong contingent was chosen after a thorough process of five invitational pathway camps and two rounds of England Rugby Centre of Excellence fixtures to start the 2023/24 season in preparation for the third edition of the continental tournament.

The U18 Women management have organised meetings at Warwick School and the University of Nottingham in order to increase interaction time between the squad this season, which included the annual internal game back in early December.

Nine England Rugby Centre of Excellence sites, as well as a combined 20 colleges, are represented in the 2024 class as head coach Cooper credited the efforts of the pathway system in enabling his selection.

“I’d like to thank the coaches at all of our England Rugby Centre of Excellence sites, as well as the various colleges, for their tireless efforts so far this season,” he said.

“We’re equipped with a fantastic squad due to that work put in by the coaches and players, and are looking forward to putting our plans into place for our upcoming fixtures.

“The determination shown by the girls in recent camps has filled myself and the coaching staff with a lot of confidence heading into 2024. We’re excited for what’s to come.”

As dates and fixtures are currently to be determined for the 2024 U18 Women’s Six Nations meeting, the tournament serves as a crucial development tool for future international rugby in the England pathway looking ahead to a home 2025 Rugby World Cup.

Over the weekend of 13 January, the U18 squad convened on the University of Nottingham pitches for a fixture with Loughborough Students for a positive test up against a physical and organised team, which enabled Cooper’s staff to test out different options in personnel and tactics.

The squad were intentionally notified the day before the meeting (12 January) against Loughborough, as players were tested on their reactions and preparation with a further trip to face Ireland U18 Women scheduled for the weekend of 2 March (venue and kick-off time TBC).

A meeting at Wellington College (15-17 February) precedes the trip over the Irish Sea, and England U18 Women assistant coach Olivia Perry expects the same intense output shown by the team in the first half of the campaign.

Perry said: “This is my third year of involvement with the U18 age-grade at England Rugby, and I believe we possess some of the most talented players to come through the pathway in recent years – it’s a real pleasure to work with these girls.

“Me, James and the team would like to congratulate the group on their efforts, representing England at any level is an achievement to be proud of and we’re positive that this collective can have a real impact on the 2023/24 season.

“They have grafted hard to be in the position they are in now, but we require more of the same heading into our meeting with Ireland as well as what we are all looking forward to, the U18 Six Nations Festival.”

England U18 Women 2024 Elite Player Squad (includes England Rugby Centre of Excellence site and college) 

Kaya Acton (Yorkshire Academy, Bishop Burton)

Ashton Adcock (Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough College)

Daisy Aspinall (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury College) *

Iley Bailey (Harlequins, Henley College)

Lauren Bailey (Bristol Bears, Hartpury College) *

Grace Banks (Sale Sharks, Wigan and Leigh)

Tamsin Baynes (Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough College)

Gabriella Brown (Harlequins, Maidstone Grammar)

Molly Bunker (Harlequins, Hartpury College)

Bethan Candlin (Yorkshire Academy, Loughborough College)

Emily Chieza (Thames Valley, City of Oxford College)

Katherine Dyke (Bristol Bears, Exeter College)

Nat Evans (Worcester, Hereford Sixth Form College) *

Zara Green (Harlequins, Newman College Hove)

Evie Haskell (Loughborough Lightning) *

Amy Henwood (Harlequins, Epsom College)

Lydia Humphries (Sale Sharks, Rainhill Sixth Form)

Rebecca Jackson (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury College)

Aisha Jah (Loughborough Lightning, West Notts Sixth Form College)

Hayley Jones (Thames Valley, Henley College)

Poppy Love (Thames Valley, Henley College)

Emily Lunn (Harlequins, Henley College)

Haineala Lutui (Worcester, RGS Worcester) *

Sophia Macdonald (Harlequins, Cardinal Newman)

Freya McGinlay (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury College)

Sarah Parry (Worcester, Hereford Sixth Form College) *

Heidi Pashaei Tarighoun (Bristol Bears, SGS Filton) *

Abigail Pritchard (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury College)

Lucie Sams (Sale Sharks, Carmel College St Helens) *

Solana Shaw de Leon (Harlequins, Worthing College)

Lucy Simpson (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury College) *

Grace Strickland (Saracens, Saffron Walden County High)

Isabel van der Straaten (Saracens)

Ellie Wilson (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury College)

Ruby Winstanley (Harlequins, The Farnborough Sixth Form)

*denotes a player previously capped at pathway level 

With thanks to the RFU

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *