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Middleton names Red Roses squad for final Quilter International Test

Middleton names Red Roses squad for final Quilter International Test
Simon Middleton has named his match day 23 to face Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 24 November (KO 5.40pm, live on Sky Sports Main Event, Action and Mix). Gloucester-Hartpury’s Zoe Aldcroft, Tatyana Heard and Kelly Smith all start.

The Red Roses are aiming to finish their Quilter Internationals unbeaten, having overcome USA 57-5 at Allianz Park and Canada 27-19 at Castle Park.

Middleton makes six changes to the starting XV, with Vicky Fleetwood returning to flanker and Lydia Thompson to right wing, having both been rested last week against Canada.

The combination of Tatyana Heard and Carys Williams start at inside and outside centre respectively having both made their debuts against USA, while Heather Kerr earns her first start of the series at hooker and Zoe Aldcroft also starts in the second row having been on the bench on Sunday.

Lark Davies, who scored two tries against Canada on Sunday, Catherine O’Donnell, Marlie Packer and Rachael Burford, all move to the bench with Sarah Hunter again captaining the side.

Middleton said:

“Saturday’s game gives us one last opportunity to look at the squad this year. There are players we know plenty about and others we need to know more about and the selection reflects that.

“Ireland will be on the rebound from their defeat to USA last week and we only have to go back to last season’s Six Nations to know how dangerous they can be on any given day.

“This will be the first Twickenham experience in an England shirt for a number of the team and not only will we be looking to see how those players react, but also how the senior players support them. I thought our finishers did a tremendous job on Sunday and we’ll be looking for the same impact this time.”

Reflecting on England’s focus this week, he added:

“There’s a couple of areas we’ve really focused on but the key ones revolve around being more clinical with the chances we create and individual attention to the job at hand. Last week we came up with too many errors. That stifled our continuity, so getting that error count down and allowing ourselves to build pressure on Ireland through retaining the ball is a big focus.

“Running out in front of the crowds at the home of England Rugby is always a special moment, and every player will work hard to produce a winning performance.”

The Red Roses last played Ireland in the 2018 Six Nations at the Ricoh Arena, with England scoring five tries, to win 33-11.

England Women match-day 23

  1. Sarah McKenna (Saracens, 16 caps); 14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries, 39 caps), 13. Carys Williams (Loughborough Lightning, 2 caps), 12. Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury, 1 cap), 11. Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury, 4 caps); 10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens, 7 caps), 9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins, 23 caps); 1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins, 41 caps), 2. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 15 caps), 3. Hannah Botterman (Saracens, 4 caps); 4. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury, 8 caps), 5. Abbie Scott (Harlequins, 31 caps); 6. Poppy Cleall (Saracens, 23 caps), 7. Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens, 66 caps), 8. Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning, 107 caps) (capt)


Replacements

  1. Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries, 12 caps, 17. Ellena Perry (Saracens, 2 caps), 18. Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins, 4 caps), 19. Catherine O’Donnell (Loughborough Lightning, 6 caps), 20. Marlie Packer (Saracens, 60 caps), 21. Claudia Macdonald (Wasps FC Ladies, 2 caps), 22. Katy Daley-Mclean (Loughborough Lightning, 101 caps), 23. Rachael Burford (Harlequins, 80 caps)

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