katy mclean englandThe England Women’s team to take on Wales in the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations on February 6th at Cross Keys RFC, kick off 230pm, has been announced. Darlington Mowden Park fly-half Katy McLean will skipper England as they bid to win a sixth consecutive Six Nations title this season and defend their grand slam crown. England Head Coach Gary Street has named a strong 22 that includes 17 players who featured in last September’s Rugby World Cup (RWC) final defeat against New Zealand.   Michaela Staniford, who was also in the RWC squad, Kim Oliver, Rowena Burnfield, Georgina Rozario and Georgina Roberts meanwhile share an impressive 88 caps between them.

“We have worked really hard since the disappointment of losing the world cup,” said Street, who is joined by assistant coach Graham Smith again this season. “We are fortunate that we haven’t had many retirements since the world cup and that this is still a relatively young squad, so we are now just looking forward to getting back on the pitch and playing again. Our aim is to raise our standards, and to focus 100 percent on this first game.”

Wales finished ninth in the RWC, but England’s last visit to Wales in the RBS 6 Nations two years ago saw the Red Roses lose by a single point. Street is determined that England do not slip up on the road again, though he is expecting their Welsh rivals to offer a new challenge this season.

He added: “The last time we played Wales in Wales we lost 16-15, so yes there is huge motivation for us here. We got turned over last time and we don’t want that to happen again.

“Wales, however, have a new coach in Kris da Scossa. Kris is very experienced, having previously worked for the Canadian national side, and I am sure for his players having a new coach will create extra motivation. This is a new start for them so we won’t know what to expect.

“For us too, this is a new start with a new captain and vice captain and we are all looking forward to getting back on the pitch and starting the healing process. There is huge anticipation for this game and the season ahead and my selection for this opener shows that I plan to make sure we do the job.”

England

15        Danielle         Waterman     Worcester

14        Katherine      Merchant       Worcester

13        Emily  Scarratt          Lichfield

12        Kimberley      Oliver  Bristol

11        Michaela        Staniford        Wasps

10        Katy    McLean          Darlington Mowden Park Sharks (C)

9          La Toya          Mason            Wasps

1          Rochelle        Clark   Worcester

2          Amy    Garnett           Saracens

3          Sophie           Hemming      Bristol

4          Joanna          McGilchrist    Wasps

5          Rebecca        EssexRichmond

6          SarahHunter            Lichfield

7          Margaret        Alphonsi        Saracens

8          Catherine      Spencer         Bristol

Replacements:

16        Emma            Croker            Richmond

17        ClairePurdyWasps

18        Rowena         Burnfield       Richmond

19        Heather          FisherWorcester

20        Georgina       Rozario          Lichfield

21        Rachael         Burford           Richmond

22        Georgina       Roberts          Darlington Mowden Park Sharks

England’s RBS 6 Nations Fixtures

Wales v England     Feb 6              Cross Keys RFC                  KO 230pm

England v Italy         Feb 12            Esher RFC                            KO 430pm

*England v France Feb 27            Worcester RFC                     KO 105pm

** England v Scotland         March 13       Twickenham Stadium         KO 515pm

Ireland v England    March 18       Ashbourne RFC                  KO 730pm

* Live on Sky Sports

**Free entry to Twickenham Stadium after men’s Calcutta Cup clash


  • Kelly morrison

    Is Heather fisher still playing