Source: RFU Collection via Juan Gasparini/JMP UK

U18 Women’s team to play Ireland announced

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England U18 Women’s head coach James Cooper and assistant coach Ollie Perry have named their 24-player matchday squad to face Ireland at the IRFU High Performance Centre this Sunday (3 March).

The 70-minute fixture, which will be capped at U18 age-grade level, will take place at the home of the IRFU development in Blanchardstown, Dublin, on Sunday afternoon (12:00pm kick-off).

Upon the conclusion of four rounds of England Rugby Centre of Excellence fixtures, Daisy Aspinall, Natalee Evans, Heidi Pashaei Tarighoun, Keira Muir and Lucie Sams return to Cooper’s set-up as the previously-capped cohort. Gloucester-Hartpury’s Aspinall captains the side, with Thames Valley’s Hayley Jones the selected vice-captain.

The selected group includes 19 previously-uncapped players at U18 level for this weekend’s trip, with 10 of the England Rugby Centre of Excellence sites and 17 colleges represented in the squad makeup.

England U18 Women last faced Ireland in the 2023 U18 Six Nations Festival, the second edition of the tournament, where Cooper’s side emerged 14-5 victors in the 35-minute encounter.

This season, the pathway side conducted their annual internal game at Warwick School last December, as well as a meeting with Loughborough University students as preparations for this year’s U18 Six Nations Festival continue this weekend.

Saturday’s trip to Ireland precedes this year’s Six Nations Rugby U18 Women’s Festival, with ties against the remaining five nations now confirmed in three matchdays (29 March, 2 and 6 April) at Stadiwm CSM, Colwyn Bay.

“An unbelievable amount of work has gone into the preparation for this fixture, and I’d like to thank the players, parents and fellow staff members for their commitment,” said James Cooper, England U18 Women’s head coach.

“We had a recent meeting at Wellington College where we brought together our Elite Player Squad once again after our camps in Nottingham, and we feel very confident in our abilities and the learnings we have taken from this season’s preparations. This weekend, we’re looking to be daring and challenge the squad’s skillsets ahead of the U18 Six Nations Festival.

“We’re excited to now put these into practice this weekend, Ireland are equipped with great talent and it will be great to measure our strengths against them away from home.”

England U18 Women’s squad to face Ireland (includes college and England Rugby Centre of Excellence site)

15 Daisy Aspinall (C) (Hartpury College, Gloucester-Hartpury) *

14 Abigail Pritchard (Hartpury College, Gloucester-Hartpury)

13 Molly Bunker (Hartpury College, Harlequins)

12 Rebecca Jackson (Hartpury College, Gloucester-Hartpury)

11 Joanne Vosakiwaiwai (City of Oxford College, Thames Valley)

10 Natalee Evans (Hereford College, Worcester) *

9 Ashton Adcock (Loughborough College, Loughborough Lightning)

1 Bethan Candlin (Loughborough College, Yorkshire)

2 Heidi Pashaei Tarighoun (SGS College, Bristol Bears) *

3 Ruby Winstanley (The Farnborough Sixth Form, Harlequins)

4 Kaya Acton (Bishop Burton College, Yorkshire)

5 Gabriella Brown (Maidstone Grammar, Harlequins)

6 Iley Bailey (Henley College, Harlequins)

7 Hayley Jones (VC) (Henley College, Thames Valley)

8 Isabel van der Straaten (Mossbourne Community Academy, Saracens)


16 Amy Henwood (Epsom College, Harlequins)

17 Keira Muir (Oaklands College, Saracens) *

18 Zara Green (Newman College, Harlequins)

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

20 Lottie Ball (Corsham Sixth Form, Bristol Bears)

21 Poppy Love (Henley College, Thames Valley)

22 Emily Lunn (Henley College, Harlequins)

23 Jessica Doyle (Sacred Heart Sixth Form, North East & Cumbria)

24 Sophia Macdonald (Newman College, Harlequins)

*denotes a player previously capped at U18 level

England U18 Women’s 2024 U18 Six Nations Festival Fixtures
Each team will play 2 x 35min matches on MD1 and MD2, followed by 1 x 70min match on MD 3. (MD1 – Friday 29th March, MD2 Tuesday 2nd April & M3 Saturday 6th April).

Matchday 1 (Friday 29th March) (35min matches)
England vs. Ireland (12:00 kick-off)
Italy vs. England (13:00 kick-off)

Matchday 2 (Tuesday 2nd April) (35min matches)
England vs. Wales (14:00 kick-off)
Scotland vs. England (16:00 kick-off)

Matchday 3 (Saturday 6th April) (70min matches)
France vs. England (12:00 kick-off)