England Women’s Head Coach Gary Street has made a raft of changes for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations clash against Italy at Esher RFC, kick off 4.30pm. Street has made six changes to the team that defeated Wales 19-0 in the Six Nations opener last weekend. Wasps prop Claire Purdy returns to the starting line-up for her first game since September’s Rugby World Cup final, while Emma Croker is also given the nod to start at hooker and Rochelle Clark moves to tight head prop.
Richmond lock Rowena Burnfield gets her first Six Nations start this season as does Worcester’s Heather Fisher, while Lichfield’s Sarah Hunter moves to No 8.
Street said: “As always we want to give our squad as much game time as possible and this is an opportunity for us to do that. We have a strong squad, but we need to give them time on the pitch to prove what they can do. I am also pleased that we can welcome back Claire Purdy as she is raring to go.”
England ran in three tries against Wales on Sunday and kept Wales to nil, but Street, who admitted his side were a little rusty, is definitely looking for an improvement this weekend.
He added: “Italy are an ever improving side and they had a good result against Ireland last weekend, staying close at half time. They are always a tough gritty side and that is why we must make the step up on Saturday. I am looking for a real improvement, including in our attacking game and the quality of ball from the breakdown.”
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
2 Emma Croker Richmond
3 Rochelle Clark Worcester
4 Joanna McGilchrist Wasps
5 Rowena Burnfield Richmond
6 Heather FisherWorcester
7 Margaret Alphonsi Saracens
8 SarahHunter Lichfield
16 Amy Garnett Saracens
17 Sophie Hemming Bristol
18 Rebecca EssexRichmond
19 Catherine Spencer Bristol
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 WON 0-19
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 clashLike Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.
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