England Women’s Head Coach Gary Street has made eight changes to the team that defeated France in the RBS 6 Nations for this Saturday’s penultimate match against Scotland at the Meggetland Stadium in Edinburgh, kick-off 12pm.
Richmond hooker Emma Layland and Saracens full back Vicky Massarella will get their first starts of this season’s Six Nations campaign while Darlington Mowden Park Sharks centre Georgina Roberts will make her international debut. Wasps player Natalie Binstead could also earn her first cap for England if she is called off the bench.
Richmond’s Alice Richardson will also start the game at fly-half with Katy McLean moving to the bench, while Wasps wing Michaela Staniford moves to the left wing in place of Danielle Waterman. Worcester’s Katherine Merchant will now wear the number 14 jersey while Wasps prop Claire Purdy could earn her third cap if she too is called off the bench.
Street said: “I am really pleased to be able to name Claire Purdy, Natalie Binstead and Georgina Roberts in the 22. After a tough game against France A just over a week ago and generally a tough A season so far they have come through these games with flying colours and deserve this chance.
“I am also looking forward to seeing Emma Layland and Vicky Massarella starting for the first time in this season’s RBS 6 Nations. They too have enjoyed a good season so far and deserve a start. It just shows the calibre of this squad and the strength in depth we have to be able to rest Charlotte Barras, Sarah Beale, Jane Leonard and Sophie Hemming, while still have a very strong bench with the likes of Amy Garnett, Danielle Waterman, Claire Allan and Katy McLean ready to come on if we need them.”
As England get ready for their final away game of the championship, the reigning champions are still on track to record an unprecedented third consecutive Grand Slam in Six Nations history after convincing wins over Wales, Italy and France.
England last played Scotland a year ago in the RBS 6 Nations and came away with an impressive ten try, 60-0 victory at Old Albanians RFC. Street, however, says England shouldn’t expect such an easy ride in Edinburgh this time around.
He added: “Last year I think we caught Scotland cold in the opening game of the championship. They are certainly going to be more competitive this year, especially as they are at home and we are going to have to be at our best to keep our winning streak going.
“Scotland had good games against France and Ireland and in both matches were leading at half-time, so we will have to keep them at bay in the first forty minutes as that is where they are going to be strong. I think those games will certainly give Scotland extra confidence as well as the added benefit of playing at home.”
1 Rochelle Clark Henley
2 Emma Layland Richmond
3 Katy Storie Blaydon Team Northumbria
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 Alice Richardson Richmond
11 Michaela Staniford Wasps
12 Rachael Burford Saracens
13 Georgina Roberts Darlington Mowden Park Sharks
14 Katherine Merchant Worcester
15 Victoria Massarella Saracens
16 Amy Garnett Saracens
17 Claire Purdy Wasps
18 Natalie Binstead Wasps
19 Karen Jones Richmond
20 Danielle Waterman Clifton
21 Katy McLean Darlington Mowden Park Sharks
22 Claire Allan 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, WON 0-31
March 8th Scotland v England Meggetland Stadium, Edinburgh KO12pm
March 15th England v Ireland, London Irish RFC, Sunbury KO 445pm