Nov 22, 2018
Five Saracens Women to start for England
Five Saracens Women will start for England against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday when the Red Roses aim to make it three wins from three in the Quilter autumn internationals.
Prop Hannah Botterman, number eight Poppy Cleall, fly-half Zoe Harrison and full-back Sarah McKenna all retain their places, and Vicky Fleetwood returns to flanker after sitting out last Sunday.
Marlie Packer and Elle Perry are among the replacements for the game, which follows England Men vs Australia and is live on Sky Sports (5.40pm kick-off).
Head coach Simon Middleton said: “Saturday’s game gives us one last opportunity to look at the squad this year. There are players we know plenty about and others we need to know more about and the selection reflects that.
“Ireland will be on the rebound from their defeat to USA last week and we only have to go back to last season’s Six Nations to know how dangerous they can be on any given day.
“This will be the first Twickenham experience in an England shirt for a number of the team and not only will we be looking to see how those players react, but also how the senior players support them. I thought our finishers did a tremendous job on Sunday and we’ll be looking for the same impact this time.”
After a convincing over the USA at Allianz Park two, England were given a sterner test by Canada last Sunday, and Middleton added: “There are a couple of areas we’ve really focused on but the key ones revolve around being more clinical with the chances we create and individual attention to the job at hand.
“Last week we came up with too many errors. That stifled our continuity, so getting that error count down and allowing ourselves to build pressure on Ireland through retaining the ball is a big focus.
“Running out in front of the crowds at the home of England Rugby is always a special moment, and every player will work hard to produce a winning performance.”
The Red Roses last played Ireland in the 2018 Six Nations at the Ricoh Arena, with England scoring five tries to win 33-11.
England Women match-day 23
15. Sarah McKenna (Saracens, 16 caps)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries, 39 caps)
13. Carys Williams (Loughborough Lightning, 2 caps)
12. Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury, 1 cap)
11. Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury, 4 caps)
10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens, 7 caps)
9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins, 23 caps)
1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins, 41 caps)
2. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 15 caps)
3. Hannah Botterman (Saracens, 4 caps)
4. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury, 8 caps)
5. Abbie Scott (Harlequins, 31 caps)
6. Poppy Cleall (Saracens, 23 caps)
7. Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens, 66 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning, 107 caps) ©
16. Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries, 12 caps)
17. Ellena Perry (Saracens, 2 caps)
18. Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins, 4 caps)
19. Catherine O’Donnell (Loughborough Lightning, 6 caps)
20. Marlie Packer (Saracens, 60 caps)
21. Claudia Macdonald (Wasps FC Ladies, 2 caps)
22. Katy Daley-Mclean (Loughborough Lightning, 101 caps)
23. Rachael Burford (Harlequins, 80 caps)