ENGLAND WOMEN have named their squad to compete in the Nations Cup in Toronto, Ontario from the 31st July to 14th August.
There was no tournament last year due to the Women’s World Cup so England, as 2009 winners, will defend their title against the USA, Canada and South Africa.
After impressive performances for England A in the European Trophy, Victoria Fleetwood, Natasha Hunt, Sarah McKenna and Kay Wilson are named in the squad and along with Laura Keates, who missed the Euros due to injury, will win their first senior caps.
The five girls join a squad of experienced players who this year added their sixth successive RBS 6 Nations title to their list of achievements when they won the Grand Slam.
England Women’s Head Coach, Gary Street, is keen to make the most of the development opportunity which the Nations Cup offers.
“The five new caps have a lot of potential for a great future. This tournament allows them to step up without the stress of it being a 6 Nations or World Cup,” said Street.
“Whilst we want to win this tournament, our focus to be on performance and their development. The senior players have an important role to play in this.
“USA and Canada finished well in the World Cup and South Africa, who now also have the experience of that tournament under their belts, are developing all the time. It was certainly no easy contest when we played them back in 2009.
“Our priority will be to work on positional units and maintaining a structured attack under pressure. When you play against very physical defensive teams such as Canada and the USA you have to work at a high level of attack so the Nations Cup is a great opportunity to develop this aspect of our game.”
The England Women’s Nations Cup Squad
Claire Allan (Richmond)
Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens)
Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
Emma Croker (Richmond)
Rebecca Essex (Richmond)
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Sophie Hemming (Bristol)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
Sarah Hunter (Lichfield)
Laura Keates (Worcester)
Jane Leonard (Wasps)
La ToyaMason (Wasps)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps)
Sarah McKenna (Old Albanians)
Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park)
Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
Claire Purdy (Wasps)
Alice Richardson (Richmond)
Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park)
Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
TamaraTaylor (Darlington Mowden Park)
Danielle Waterman (Worcester)
Kay Wilson (Richmond)