The England Women’s Under 20s team to take on France in their first
international of the season on March 11th at the Suzan Lenglen Stadium in
Paris has been announced, kick off 930am GMT.
The England Under 20s side will be led by the experienced Richmond
scrum-half Fiona Davidson who will start her third year in the U20s squad.
Lichfield flanker Fiona Fletcher has been named as vice-captain.
Davidson will lead an U20s side which sees 12 players in the 22 set to make
their England U20s bow. Four players; Rachael Jones, Amy Needham, Carys
Williams and Megan Goddard have been called up to the squad after impressing
in the RFUW Divisional Programme after initially missing out on selection
into the 2011/2012 Under 20s squad.
Amanda Bennett, who is joined by assistant coach Steve Halsey again this
season, said: “It is so exciting to see such talent in young
players. Although this is a relatively inexperienced squad, we will look to
the likes of new players Lauren Cattell and Rachel Jones for big
performances just as much as Captain Fiona Davidson, who brings vast
experience. Nurturing young talent is rewarding, and this year’s squad
has the potential to play some great rugby.
“We have had a relative luxury of a series of training camps which
have allowed the squad to grow together and also for us to work hard on team
development, game strategy and of course, continuing to build on the core
England will also take on France on April 4th and 7th at Moulton College as
well as host the USA in a two test series in July at the same venue, and
they’ll be looking to build on the success of last season which saw
England defeat Canada, the USA, France, Wales, Scotland and South Africa,
completing a clean sweep of international victories.
Bennett added: “There aren’t many teams who would choose to
play three tests against France in a season as they are such a tough side.
However, these games present an opportunity for the England squad to learn
from one game to the next and benchmark improvements in performances against
high quality opposition. We will be looking for pre-determined goals to be
met by the third game and for individual players, as well as the whole
squad, to improve in designated areas.
“We have played France twice in the last two years and are all square
when it comes to results. We lost in 2010 but genuinely feel our
preparations this year are more comprehensive and players have an excellent
understanding of what is expected of them, regardless of the
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images