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Rugby - 12. July 2008.

England Women to compete in Nations Cup this summer

England, who are also the European Championship winners this season, will strive for another title when they take on the USA on August 22nd and Canada on August 24th. They will also play the two teams in another two tests on August 19th (USA) and August 29th (Canada) outside of the Nations Cup tournament.

England Head Coach Gary Street said: “This is a very exciting tournament for us and crucially it’s all about trying to enhance our players’ development leading up to the 2010 IRB Rugby World Cup.

“We’ve identified that we need to have the depth and width across all playing positions if we are going to win the world cup in two years time. The Nations Cup, and the two international tests outside of the tournament, provides us with invaluable fixtures against two of the best sides in women’s rugby.”

Street has named a strong 30 women squad, with Bath’s Catherine Spencer once again leading the side and Saracens’ Rachel Burford as vice captain.

The squad includes several players who helped England win the Six Nations title for an unprecedented third time in March, while he has also included a number of up and coming young players like Richmond’s Fiona Pocock and Lichfield’s Emily Scarratt, who could be set to make her international debut next month.

England last played the USA in December 2007 and triumphed 34-0. They last played Canada in the 2006 IRB Rugby World Cup semi-finals. Then England won 20-14 to go on to finish as World Cup runners-up. Canada finished fourth.

Street added: “There is a real mix of experience and youth in this squad, and for the youngsters this is going to be a very important tournament. We have got quite a few players who have just a couple of caps under their belts, so it’s really important that they get some more international experience before next season’s RBS 6 Nations.”

England Nations Cup squad

Rochelle Clark Henley

Sophie Hemming Clifton

Katy Storie Blaydon Team Northumbria

Rosemarie Crowley Lichfield

Samantha Dale Worcester

Emma Layland Richmond

Amy Garnett Saracens

Tamara Taylor Darlington Mowden Park Sharks

Joanna McGilchrist Wasps

Natalie Binstead Wasps

Karen Jones Richmond

Catherine Spencer (C) Bath

Sarah Hunter Lichfield

Gemma Sharples Worcester

Sarah Beale Leos

Margaret Alphonsi Saracens

Georgina Rozario Plymouth Albion

Amy Turner Richmond

Katy McLean Darlington Mowden Park Sharks

Alice Richardson Richmond

Rachael Burford (VC)Saracens

Kimberley Oliver Clifton

Georgina Roberts Darlington Mowden Park Sharks

Emily Scarratt Lichfield

Francesca Matthews Richmond

Fiona Pocock Richmond

Danielle Waterman Clifton

Michaela Staniford Wasps

Katherine Merchant Worcester

Charlotte Barras Saracens

Match Schedule:

England v USA, August 19th at Esher RFC, KO 7pm

England v USA August 22nd at Esher RFC Nations Cup, KO 7pm

England v Canada August 24th at Esher RFC Nations Cup, KO 5pm

USA v Canada August 26th at Esher RFC Nations Cup, KO 7pm

England v Canada August 29th at Esher RFC, KO 7pm


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