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Gloucester-Hartpury trio named in England Women squad to take on France

Gloucester-Hartpury trio named in England Women squad to take on France
England Women head coach Simon Middleton has made nine changes to the side to play France Women in their third match of the Women’s Rugby Super Series in San Diego on Wednesday 10 July.

Kelly Smith will start while Zoe Aldcroft and Millie Wood are named amongst the replacements which will kick off at 14:00 PDT/22:00 BST live on Sky Sports Action, Mix and Main Event).

The Red Roses have played two games so far in the series with a 38-5 win over USA and a 19-17 victory against Canada, while France had a bye in the first round and then lost 19-36 in their opener against Canada but responded with a 25-16 victory over the world’s number one ranked side New Zealand.

For England, Heather Kerr and Sarah Bern are brought into the front row, with Abbie Scott, Poppy Cleall and Marlie Packer also coming into the pack.

Amber Reed and Emily Scarratt are reunited from the first game of the tournament as the centre partnership, with Sarah McKenna having recovered from her knock before the match against Canada and scrum half Leanne Riley getting her first start of the tour in San Diego.

‘Saturday’s win against an outstanding Canadian side was huge for us in terms of the growth of this squad of players,” said Middleton.

“It was a game we were second best in for long periods but hung in, found a way to nudge ourselves in front and then showed great composure and game management to close out the game. That side was incredible young and inexperienced as a group and we were massively proud of the character they showed.

“For France we have looked to bring in some of our more experienced, and senior, players as France are coming off the back of a great win against New Zealand and will be full of confidence. We know only too well that on their day they can be one of the toughest team in world rugby to play against and that’s the type of performance we will be expecting.

“In Jessie Tremouliere they have the current world player of the year and anyone who saw her performance against New Zealand would understand why that is the case. However, we have massive belief and trust in this squad and our focus will very much be on ourselves and ensuring we deliver the level of performance we want.”

The last time England and France met was in the 2019 Women’s Six Nations as when the Red Roses secured a bonus-point 41-26 victory at Castle Park in Doncaster,  on their way to completing a Grand Slam.


  1. Sarah McKenna (Saracens Women – 23 caps); 14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Warriors Women – 42 caps), 13. Emily Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning – 80 caps), 12. Amber Reed (Bristol Bears Women – 51 caps), 11. Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury Women –11 caps); 10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women – 15 caps), 9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies – 29 caps); 1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies – 47 caps), 2. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks – 17 caps), 3. Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears Women – 26 caps); 4. Catherine O’Donnell (Loughborough Lightning – 14 caps), 5. Abbie Scott (Harlequins Ladies – 38 caps); 6. Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women – 31 caps), 7. Marlie Packer (Saracens Women – 66 caps), 8. Sarah Hunter (capt) (Loughborough Lightning – 114 caps)


  1. Lark Davies (Worcester Warriors Women – 19 caps), 17. Ellena Perry (Saracens Women – 5 caps), 18. Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women – 12 caps), 19. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury Women – 11 caps), 20. Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo Ladies – 8 caps), 21. Claudia Macdonald (Wasps FC Ladies – 6 caps), 22. Emily Scott (Harlequins Ladies – 30 caps), 23. Millie Wood (Gloucester-Hartpury Women – 6 caps)

England’s Super Series 2019 fixtures

England 38-5 USA

England 19-17 Canada

England v France - Wednesday 10 July (Sky Sports Action, Mix and Main Event – KO 14:00 PDT/22:00 BST)

Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center

England v New Zealand - Sunday 14 July (Sky Sports Action and Main Event – KO 13:00 PDT/21:00 BST)

San Diego State University’s Torero Stadium