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Rugby - 01. February 2008.

International rugby returns to Sunbury

International rugby returns to Sunbury this Saturday with England Women kicking off their defence of the RBS 6 Nations Women’s championship against Wales at London Irish RFC, kick-off 230pm.


England Women are the RBS 6 Nations champions and this season will be heading into the campaign hoping to record an unprecedented third consecutive Grand Slam victory in six nations history.


England Head Coach Gary Street, who has selected 11 London-based players in the 22-woman squad, said: “This is going to be a very exciting campaign and we are delighted to be playing our home games at Sunbury once again.


“We have got a massive task to achieve if we can win the Grand Slam for a third year on the trot, but it is this sort of pressure that gives us extra bite to our game.


“London Irish RFC is a great facility and we tasted success there only a month ago when England and England A inflicted defeats on the USA. We have great support for both those games and we hope we will have more of the same for the RBS 6 Nations.”


England last played Wales in the final game of last year’s RBS 6 Nations and ran out 30-0 winners to clinch the Grand Slam victory. Street, however, is expecting Wales to prove tougher opposition this time around.


He added: “Wales always have incredible determination and spirit. We never have an easy game against them and we know we will have to be on top of our game to start the championship with a win. They had a good six nations last season, one of their best for many seasons, and they also put in a good performance against Canada in December so we are expecting a very tough game.”


England A will also be in action at Sunbury on Saturday, kick-off 1230pm, against an impressive Nomads line-up which includes most noticeably last year’s England captain Sue Day of Wasps and Vanessa Gray, Georgia Stevens and Karen Andrew who all played for England last season. Richmond’s Karen Jones will lead the A side out against the Nomads.


England will return to Sunbury for their final fixture of the RBS 6 Nations championship on March 15th to take on Ireland at 445pm. England A will also be in action that day against the Nomads, kick-off 3pm.

England

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 Michaela Staniford Wasps

12 Rachael Burford Saracens

13 Claire Allan Saracens

14 Danielle Waterman Clifton

15 Charlotte Barras Saracens

Replacements:

16 Emma Layland Richmond

17 Sophie Hemming Clifton

18 Sarah Beale Leos

19 Jane Leonard Wasps/Army

20 Alice Richardson Richmond

21 Katherine Merchant Worcester

22 Victoria Massarella Saracens

Head Coach Gary Street

Assistant Coach Graham Smith


England A

1 Claire Purdy Wasps

2 Samantha Dale Worcester

3 Rosemarie Crowley Lichfield

4 Sara Anastasi Richmond

5 Alexandra Stevens Lichfield

6 Karen Jones (C) Richmond

7 Gemma Sharples Worcester

8 Heidi Shelburg-Naea Wasps

9 Georgina Rozario Plymouth Albion

10 Christina Lee Clifton

11 Helen Price Waterloo

12 Charlotte Boggis Exeter University

13 Vicki Jackson Lichfield

14 Francesca Matthews Richmond

15 Fiona Pocock Richmond

Replacements:

16 Samantha Jamieson Darlington Mowden Park Sharks

17 Katherine Smith Richmond

18 Natalie Binstead Wasps

19 Sonia Green Saracens

20 Sarah Guest Worcester

21 Karina Page Old Albanians Saints

22 Georgina Roberts Darlington Mowden Park Sharks

Head Coach Mike Barnett

Assistant coaches Andy Paton & Gavin Williams

England Women RBS 6 Nations Fixtures

February 2nd England v Wales London Irish RFC, Sunbury KO 230pm

February 9th Italy v England Stadio Tre Fontane, Rome, KO 230pm local time

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

England A Women Fixtures

Feb 2nd England v Nomads London Irish RFC, Sunbury, KO 1230pm

Feb 9th Spain v England A, Stadium of the University City of Madrid, KO 4pm local time

Feb 23 France A v England A, Bourgoin, KO TBC

March 15th England A v Nomads, London Irish RFC, Sunbury, KO 3pm

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