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

Gloucester-Hartpury trio named in England Women squad to take on Ireland
Simon Middleton has confirmed his match-day 23 for England Women’s opening Six Nations clash against Ireland. Tatyana Heard and Kelly Smith both start with Mo Hunt named amongst the replacements.

The Red Roses get the 2019 Six Nations campaign underway on Friday 1 February at Energia Park, Donnybrook, KO 5pm, live on Sky Sports Mix.

With 108 international caps to her name, Sarah Hunter again captains the side starting at No 8, and is joined by fellow 2014 Rugby World Cup winners Katy Daley-Mclean (102 caps), Emily Scarratt (74 caps) , Marlie Packer (61 caps) and Natasha Hunt (41 caps).

[caption id="attachment_25109" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Natasha Hunt Natasha Hunt (c) Getty Images[/caption]

2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup finalist Sarah Bern starts at tighthead prop to make her first international appearance since the 2018 Six Nations. Poppy Cleall starts in the second row and her twin sister and Saracens team mate Bryony will be looking for her first international cap having been named as a substitute.

Also looking for her first England start from the bench is Saracens second row Rosie Galligan while Firwood Waterloo teenager Sarah Beckett, who made her England debut against USA in the Quilter Internationals, starts at flanker.

Wasps FC Ladies hooker Amy Cokayne is also named, having missed the autumn due to RAF commitments.

Middleton said:

“We are looking forward to getting our Six Nations campaign underway and implementing some of the things we have been working on since the Quilter Internationals.

“It is great to have a number of players back in the squad from the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup, as well those newer names who have impressed through the season so far.

[caption id="attachment_25108" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Tatyana Heard Tatyana Heard (c) Getty Images[/caption]

“This first game has come a week too soon for a couple of players but this gives us an opportunity to test others, and there were some tough calls over positions. Selection has been based on recent form.

“We know that conditions are likely to be testing in Dublin on Friday but we are looking forward to returning to Donnybrook, a ground we know well, having lifted the Six Nations Grand Slam there in 2017. Whatever the conditions, we will be focussed on the task in hand.”

England and Ireland last came together at Twickenham Stadium in the 2018 Quilter Internationals, with the Red Roses winning 37-15.

England match-day 23 against Ireland

  1. Sarah McKenna (Saracens Women, 17 caps); 14. Jess Breach (Harlequins Ladies, 2 caps), 13. Emily Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning, 74 caps), 12. Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury, 2 caps), 11. Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury, 5 caps); 10. Katy Daley-Mclean (Loughborough Lightning, 102 caps), 9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies, 24 caps); 1. Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women, 5 caps), 2. Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries, 13 caps), 3. Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears Women, 20 caps); 4. Catherine O’Donnell (Loughborough Lightning, 7 caps), 5. Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women, 24 caps); 6. Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo, 1 cap), 7. Marlie Packer (Saracens Women, 61 caps), 8. Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning, 108 caps)

  2. Amy Cokayne (Wasps FC Ladies, 41 caps), 17. Bryony Cleall (Saracens Women, uncapped), 18. Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Ladies, 5 caps), 19. Rosie Galligan (Saracens Women, uncapped), 20. Rowena Burnfield (Richmond Ladies, 47 caps), 21. Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury, 41 caps), 22. Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women, 8 caps), 23. Emily Scott (Harlequins Ladies, 23 caps)

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