The England Women’s team to take on Ireland in the semi-finals of the European Championships tomorrow (Tuesday) in Drachten, Holland, kick-off 7pm BST, has today been announced.
England Head Coach Gary Street has made 11 changes to the starting line-up that defeated Sweden 80-3 on Saturday, including an all new front row.
Street has also called-up Saracens’ Rachel Burford and Charlotte Barras and Wasps’ Michaela Staniford who all competed in the Amsterdam 7s last weekend, which England won by defeating the New Zealand Aotearoa Maoris in the final.
England last played Ireland in the final game of this season’s RBS 6 Nations and won 17-7 to clinch an unprecedented third consecutive Grand Slam crown.
Street said: “We have made several changes for this game and are fortunate enough to be able to beef up the squad with the players who were successful in Amsterdam at the weekend.
“With three games in the space of a week it’s really important to get some fresh legs on the pitch and also give everyone some game time if we are really going to challenge for honours.
“Playing Ireland is going to be a tough match and certainly a big step up in opposition after playing Sweden on Saturday. When we last took them on we were a little disappointed with out performance so this is a great opportunity to put in a better display so soon after playing them in March.
“Ireland have certainly brought a strong squad here and I’m sure they’ll be feeling confident after their good performance against us. They also picked up a good win against Spain in their opening match, winning 41-7.”
In the other European Championship semi-final Wales are playing France at 7pm BST on Tuesday.
1 Sophie Hemming Clifton
2 Amy Garnett Saracens
3 Rochelle Clark Henley
4 Tamara Taylor Darlington Mowden Park Sharks
5 Joanna McGilchrist Wasps
6 Sarah Hunter Lichfield
7 Margaret Alphonsi Saracens
8 Catherine Spencer (C) Worcester
9 Amy Turner Richmond
10 Katy McLean Darlington Mowden Park Sharks
11 Fiona Pocock Richmond
12 Rachael Burford (VC) Saracens
13 Michaela Staniford Wasps
14 Katherine Merchant Worcester
15 Charlotte Barras Saracens
16 Samantha Dale Worcester
17 Claire Purdy Wasps
18 Sarah Beale Leos
19 Karen Jones Richmond
20 Georgina Rozario Plymouth Albion
21 Kimberley Oliver Clifton
22 Vicky Massarella Saracens
England 6-Russia )
England defeated New Zealand 49-46 to level up the three-match Series at 1-1 heading into the deciding match on Wednesday morning.