TEAM NEWS | Saracens Women v Harlequins -Premier 15s Final
Sarah McKenna knows just how significant Sunday’s Allianz Premier 15s Final is for the club, insisting the whole squad are hugely excited to challenge for a third consecutive title.
The England international was part of the side that lifted the trophy in the 2018/19 campaign, giving her further motivation to taste that success once again.
Following last Saturday’s dramatic semi-final victory against Loughborough Lightning, there is one change to the starting line-up for the final at Kingsholm as Holly Aitchison returns at inside centre.
The powerful front-row of Hannah Botterman, May Campbell and Bryony Cleall continue after an impressive showing last week, with Player of the Match in the semi-final Sophie de Goede alongside Emma Taylor in the second-row.
The all-international back-row of Vicky Fleetwood, Marlie Packer and Poppy Cleall will be crucial to their game plan, with Packer’s last gasp turnover ensuring their path to the final with the clock in the red last week.
Emma Swords and Zoe Harrison maintain their half-back partnership as Aitchison comes back into the number 12 shirt and Hannah Casey moves to outside centre.
Captain Lotte Clapp is on the left wing, with Sydney Gregson moving to the right wing and McKenna at full-back.
The bench will play a huge part in the latter stages against their London rivals on Sunday, and Rachel Laqeretabua’s try-scoring ability could prove to be the difference as she is named among the replacements.
McKenna believes a third title in a row would make a brilliant statement to the rest of the league and reward the efforts of the entire group throughout a very strange season.
“Whenever we play Quins it is a massive occasion. We’re hugely excited by the opportunity to play in this final and can’t wait to get out there,” she said.
“We demand a lot from one another and have confidence in what we’re doing so we need to stick to what we do best and have that belief in ourselves.
“This year has been a bit of a nightmare but it’s just been a joy to be out there. It’s been stressful but we’re so excited to play and try to get a good result.
“We all want to make a statement, there is a core group of players who have worked so hard, so to celebrate those efforts by going three in a row would be amazing.”
Saracens Women team to play Harlequins Women:
15 Sarah McKenna
14 Sydney Gregson
13 Hannah Casey
12 Holly Aitchison
11 Lotte Clapp ©
10 Zoe Harrison
9 Emma Swords
1 Hannah Botterman
2 May Campbell
3 Bryony Cleall
4 Sophie de Goede
5 Emma Taylor
6 Vicky Fleetwood
7 Marlie Packer
8 Poppy Cleall
16 Jodie Rettie
17 Rocky Clark
18 Donna Rose
19 Rosie Galligan
20 Georgia Evans
21 Eloise Hayward
22 Alysha Corrigan
23 Rachel Laqeretabua