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Rugby - 02. December 2008.

England Women A side named for Italy clash

The England Women's A side to take on Italy on Sunday December 14th at London Welsh RFC, kick-off 12pm, has today (Tuesday) been announced.

The team contains a wealth of experience with England capped players Lichfield's Sarah Beale, Saracens' Claire Allan, Rachel Burford, Vicky Massarella and Wasps' Michaela Staniford all in the starting line-up as well as several regular England A players. Wasps prop Claire Purdy is captain.

This is England A's first international of the season, which will also see them take on Spain in February, France A and the Nomads in March.

England A Head Coach Mike Barnett said: "This is the start of a busy campaign for the A team. We will be looking to get it off to a good start, and a game against Italy is a great way to kick off the season.

"England play Italy in the RBS 6 Nations and I am sure the Italian side will be looking at this as a warm-up fixture for that tournament. We have got a lot of experienced players in this side and that just goes to show no England player can take their place for granted.

"This is our second season with the same coaching team, and with only a few new players in the squad this year we will be looking for an improvement. A team rugby is all about developing players but we want to be successful too and breed that winning spirit."

England A

1 Claire Purdy Wasps C
2 Sam Reeves Worcester
3 Rosemarie Crowley Lichfield
4 Rowena Burnfield Richmond
5 Natalie Binstead Wasps
6 Lois Moulding Lichfield
7 Heather Fisher Wasps
8 Sarah Beale Lichfield
9 Sarah Guest Worcester
10 Danni Knight Lichfield
11 Fiona Pocock Richmond
12 Tina Lee Bristol
13 Clare Allan Saracens
14 Michaela Staniford Wasps
15 Vicky Massarella Saracens
Replacements:
16 Ollie Poore Lichfield
17 Monica Lewinska Clifton
18 Sara Anastasi Richmond
19 Isabelle Noel-Smith Bath
20 Latoya Mason Wasps
21 Rachael Burford Saracens
22 Vicki Jackson Lichfield

Head Coach Mike Barnett
Assistant Coach Andy Paton
Assistant Coach Gavin Williams
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