The England Women’s team to take on France in the RBS 6 Nations championship this Saturday in Bergerac, kick off 3pm GMT, has today (Monday) been announced.
Blaydon prop Katy Storie, Wasps lock Joanna McGilchrist and Darlington Mowden Park Sharks fly-half Katy McLean all return to the starting line-up while Richmond duo Emma Layland, returning from England A action, and Karen Jones start on the bench. Jones replaces Wasps and Army player Jane Leonard.
England Head Coach Gary Street said: “This is a very strong 22 for what is going to be a tough game against France. France have named their strongest starting XV for the game and, as we are playing away from home, we realise this is going to be a very challenging fixture.
“France at home are always at their strongest and taking into consideration the six nations title has been shared between France and England since 2000 this could well be a crunch game for us.
“From what we have seen of France so far this season they have been experimenting a lot with their side, playing nine new caps in their win against Scotland, but I am sure they will be at their best against us.
“For us, we have made a really pleasing start to the championship, but we are our biggest critics and we still want to improve and we will need to do that playing away to France.”
Reigning RBS 6 Nations champions England last played France in the six nations championship a year ago and won 38-12.
1 Rochelle Clark (Henley)
2 Amy Garnett (Saracens)
3 Katy Storie (Blaydon)
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 Danielle Waterman (Clifton)
12 Rachael Burford (Saracens)
13 Claire Allan (Saracens)
14 Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
15 Charlotte Barras (Saracens)
16 Emma Layland (Richmond)
17 Sophie Hemming (Clifton)
18 Sarah Beale (Leos)
19 Karen Jones (Richmond)
20 Alice Richardson (Richmond)
21 Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
22 Victoria Massarella (Saracens)
Head Coach Gary Street
Assistant Coach Graham Smith
England RBS 6 Nations Fixtures
February 2nd England v Wales, London Irish RFC, Sunbury KO 230pm WON 55-0
February 9th Italy v England, Stadio Tre Fontane, Rome, KO 230pm WON 76-6
February 23rd France v England, Bergerac, nr Agen, KO 4pm local time
March 8th Scotland v England Meggetland Stadium, Edinburgh KO12pm
March 15th England v Ireland, London Irish RFC, Sunbury KO 445pm