The England Women’s team to play France in the winner takes all
FIRA-AER European Cup clash this Saturday in Rovereto, Italy, kick off 630pm BST, has been announced.
Head Coach Graham Smith has made five changes, and one positional, to the
team that defeated Italy 32-8 on Tuesday. Lichfield’s Sarah Hunter
will once again captain the side which welcomes back Emily Scarratt and
Katherine Merchant to the starting line-up. Both Merchant and Scarratt were
involved in England’s victory in the IRB Challenge Cup Sevens in
London on Sunday.
Bristol’s Marlie Packer and Worcester’s Rochelle Clark return
to bolster a strong England pack, while Ceri Large moves to fly-half and Kim
Oliver is back in at centre.
Smith, whose side like France have defeated both Italy and Spain in this
tournament, said: “The spirit in the camp is very good and we are
confident that we have a strong enough team to defend our European Cup
“This is a strong England pack, while our backs have also been
performing. Georgina Rozario is playing some of her best rugby ever at
scrum-half, and Ceri Large is developing into a good international fly-half.
Kim Oliver has also been in top form this season, Emily, Kat and Danielle
are world class players while Lydia really has the potential to be a world
The final England versus France match is set to be a thriller with matches
this season between the two sides evenly matched. France have beaten England
twice this season, but England took the most recent victory in the RBS 6
Nations in March.
Smith added: “Our players like nothing better than playing France and
they’ll be really up for it. We know we’ll have to be at the top
of our game for this one, with France being a tough and physical side. Like
us they have some new caps in their squad, but they also have the nucleus of
their Six Nations side here. They have a good kicking game, can move the
ball around well and have a big effective pack and we know they’ll be
really up for this match.”
15 Danielle Waterman (Worcester)
12 KimberleyOliver (Bristol)
11 KatherineMerchant (Worcester)
1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
5 Tamara Taylor(Darlington Mowden Park
6 Sarah Hunter
19 Gemma Sharples (Worcester)
21 Lauren Cattell (Chesham)
24 Fiona Fletcher (Lichfield)
Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
England Women’s European Cup Schedule
Spain v England, May 12, WON 61-0.
Italy v England, May 15,WON 32-8
France v England, May 19, KO 630pm
photos Janos Schmidt