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Rugby - 11. March 2015.

Thompson and Pocock return for England Women


Acting England Women's head coach Nicola Ponsford is delighted to have World Cup winner Lydia Thompson and Richmond's Fiona Pocock back in the team for Friday's Women's Six Nations clash against Scotland.

Both players return following long-term injuries with Worcester wing Thompson making her first appearance since last August's World Cup while Pocock has been sidelined since playing Ireland in the 2013 Women's Six Nations.

And after England Women's agonising late defeat to Ireland Women in Round 3 Ponsford hopes her returning stars will provide a much-needed boost.

"It's great to welcome Lydia and Fiona back into the squad after their absence through injury," she said.

"Both are quality players who have proved themselves on the world stage at both the 2014 and 2010 Rugby World Cups.

"They are now ready to come back into the mix and I am really looking forward to seeing them back in an England shirt."

England head into Friday's clash lying fourth in the Women's Six Nations table with their only victory so far coming against Italy Women in Round 2.

And while Scotland are yet to record a win and sit at the bottom of the Championship table, Ponsford knows it will not be an easy task.

"We are expecting a physical battle against Scotland. They have a big forward pack that has put a lot of pressure on the other nations they have played this season," she revealed.

"We are certainly expecting them to front up and give us a difficult game.

"For us, we are heading into the match very much focused on our performance. We were disappointed with the execution of our game plan against Ireland so we have been working hard on how we are going to deliver that against Scotland."

England Women's team to face Scotland Women
15. Fiona Pocock (Richmond)
14. Ruth Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
13. Abigail Brown (Bristol)
12. Ceri Large (Worcester)
11. Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
10. Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) Captain
9. Bianca Blackburn (Worcester)

1. Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
2. Victoria Fleetwood (Saracens)
3. Justine Lucas (Lichfield)
4. Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) Vice-captain
5. Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
6. Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)
7. Hannah Field (Richmond)
8. Harriet Millar-Mills (Waterloo)

Replacements
16. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield)
17. Victoria Cornborough (Richmond)
18. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
19. Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
20. Hannah Gallagher (Saracens)
21. Fiona Davidson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
22. Amber Reed (Bristol)
23. Lauren Cattell (Saracens)
Read more at http://www.rbs6nations.com/en/news/women/28004.php#2IDT4SebFCCAsiB7.99

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