Maddie Feaunati is a part of England's Women's Six Nations squad

Exeter Chiefs back row Maddie Feaunati is a part of the Red Roses’ Women’s Six Nations squad. The star is the daughter of former Samoa player Zak who also played Jonah Lomu in the 2009 film Invictus.

Feaunati will win her first cap for England if she is selected in the upcoming tournament. England open their title defence on 24 March against Italy. However, Feaunati could already have been playing international rugby for another team.

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New Zealand offered her a contract but she turned it down. New England head coach John Mitchell shared some light around the situation when he announced his squad.

“I think she was also offered a New Zealand Ferns contract,” Mitchell said. “But she turned that down to play for the Red Roses.

“I just saw this really naturally gifted, carrying footballer, who’s athletic, who’s young, who can also be a very, very good line-out jumper.”

Feaunati qualifies for England as it is the country of her birth. She was also able to play for New Zealand as her father is from there.

The 21-year-old will only officially have her allegiance with England after she is capped. If England do not cap her during the Women’s Six Nations she will be free to play for New Zealand if she so wishes.

England are bidding to win their sixth successive Grand Slam title in the upcoming tournament. The team have not lost a game in the competition since 2018 when France beat them 18-17.

The Red Roses’ last five titles came under former head coach Simon Middleton. He stood down after the last Women’s Six Nations with Mitchell taking over following the conclusion of the men’s 2023 Rugby World Cup.

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