Emily Scarratt for England against France in the 2010 Six Nations

ENGLAND WOMEN’S Head Coach Gary Street has made four changes to the starting line-up for ‘Super Sunday’s (February 27) Six Nations clash against France (kick off 1:05pm) at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium.

Richmond duo Fran Matthews and Becky Essex and Bristol prop Sophie Hemming all return to the starting line-up while Worcester’s Rochelle Clark switches to tight head prop. Katy McLean will once again captain England with Maggie Alphonsi named as vice captain.

“I have made a couple of changes, and I have picked my starting line-up from the players on form from our game against Italy,” said Street. “Sophie and Becky are also key to our set-piece work and that will be a big area for us this weekend. They also give us a lot of experience. We also have an incredibly strong bench, with some world class players ready to come into the game – there is a lot more than a starting XV here.”

Sunday’s match, which will be shown live on Sky Sports, is set to be a thriller. Not only will there be a triple billing of international rugby on show with England Women’s and Men’s Under 20s teams also in action, but this Six Nations encounter could well prove to be a title deciding match.

Both England and France are the only unbeaten teams in the tournament so far, but reigning champions, England, narrowly top the table with a superior points’ difference of 30 points. England also edged last year’s Six Nations clash by a single point, winning 11-10 in France.

Street added: “France have had two good wins this season, including one away against Ireland which is always tricky when you go to their patch. As always we are expecting another tough and physical game, but we are confident we can carry our form from the game against Italy into this match. And we are looking forward to doing it in front of a big crowd. ‘Super Sunday’ is a really exciting prospect for the players, coaches but also the rugby fans – three international matches in one day can’t be bad!”

England Squad:

15 Danielle Waterman (Worcester)

14 Katherine Merchant (Worcester)

13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)

12 Kimberley Oliver (Bristol)

11 Francesca Matthews (Richmond)

10 Katy Mclean (C) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)

9 La Toya Mason (Wasps)

1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester)

2 Emma Croker (Richmond)

3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol)

4 Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps)

5 Rebecca Essex (Richmond)

6 Heather Fisher (Worcester)

7 Marggie Alphonsi (vc) (Saracens)

8 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield)


16 Amy Garnett (Saracens)

17 Claire Purdy (Wasps)

18 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)

19 Catherine Spencer (Bristol)

20 Georgina Rozario (Lichfield)

21 Rachael Burford (Richmond)

22 Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)

Super Sunday Schedule:

England Women U20s v France Women U20s, KO 11 am

*England Women v France, KO 1:05 pm

England Men U20s v France Men U20s, KO 3:15 pm

England’s RBS 6 Nations Fixtures

Wales v England Feb 6 Cross Keys RFC WON 0-19

England v Italy Feb 12 Esher RFC WON 68-5

** England v Scotland March 13 Twickenham Stadium KO 5:15 pm

Ireland v England March 18 Ashbourne RFC KO 7:30 pm

* Live on Sky Sports

**FREE ENTRY to Twickenham Stadium after men’s Calcutta Cup clash & live on BBC Red Button (not inc. Freeview)