England Women’s Head Coach Gary Street has made 11 changes, one positional, to the starting line-up that defeated world champions, New Zealand, at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday for tomorrow’s (Tuesday) rematch at Esher RFC, kick off 7pm.
After Saturday’s emphatic 10-0 win over the Black Ferns, Street is using all of his 26-woman squad to give game time to. Only five players start a second game in succession with Tamara Taylor, Rebecca Essex, Katy McLean, Michaela Staniford and Kim Oliver getting the nod.
Darlington Mowden Park Sharks duo McLean and Taylor with lead England with fly-half McLean captain and Taylor vice-captain.
Tuesday’s rematch will also see the return of Hannah Gallagher and Alexandra Matthews who both made their England debuts against France earlier this month. The pair, who still qualify for England’s Under 20s squad, start at flanker and Number 8 respectively.
Street said: “Our players have recovered well and are still buoyed by Saturday’s victory. The message is simple for this side; we need to maintain the momentum and make this an even more energetic and high tempo game.
“By selecting this starting line-up we have freshened up our side and they will have energy and drive, while we have got a really strong bench who will be able to make a real impact in the second half. I have also got confidence in mixing up our young players with the older heads as I trust the strength and depth we’ve got in this squad.”
England defeated New Zealand in the first of a three test match series on Saturday with Margaret Alphonsi scoring a try and McLean adding a conversion and drop goal. The victory went some way to easing England’s world cup heartache, when they lost 13-10 to the Black Ferns in last year’s final, but Street is ready for the world champions to bounce back.
He added: “There is nothing more dangerous in sport than a wounded world champion. There is no doubt that New Zealand will be back fighting after Saturday’s defeat so we need to up our game as well and we have every intention of doing that.”
15 Kay Wilson (Richmond)
14 Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
13 Rachael Burford (Richmond)
12 KimberleyOliver (Bristol)
11 Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
10 Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) (C)
9 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
1 Claire Purdy (Wasps)
2 Amy Turner (Richmond)
3 Laura Keates (Worcester)
4 Rebecca Essex(Richmond)
5 Tamara Taylor(Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) (VC)
6 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens)
7 Marlie Packer (Bristol)
8 Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)
16 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
17 Sophie Hemming (Bristol)
18 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
19 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens)
20 La Toya Mason (Wasps)
21 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
22 KatherineMerchant (Worcester)
England Autumn International Series
Nov 26th England v New Zealand, Twickenham Stadium, WON 10-0
Nov 29th England v New Zealand, Esher RFC, KO 7pm, live on www.rfu.com/englandwomenlive
Dec 3rd England v New Zealand, Esher RFC, 2pm, live on www.rfu.com/englandwomenlive
Tickets for the international tests at Esher RFC on November 29th and December 3rd will be available on the gate and cost £10 for adults and £5 for juniors. They can also be purchased in advance at www.esherrugby.com
– but the sailors praise the new boats