England make nine changes for France

England beat France final Saturday to win a 3rd successive Women’s Six Nations title
Venue: Stade Lille-Metropole Dates: Friday, 30 April Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Watch stay on BBC iPlayer; comply with stay textual content commentary on the BBC Sport web site & app.

England head coach Simon Middleton makes nine changes to his Women’s Six Nations-winning aspect, with captain Sarah Hunter returning to the beginning XV for Friday’s match with France.

Zoe Harrison will begin at 10 in Lille, after final week’s starter Helena Rowland rejoined GB Sevens.

Hunter returns at eight, pushing Poppy Cleall to blind-side flanker.

England arrange the additional Test towards France – who they may face within the World Cup pool stage in 2022 – to provide the aspect extra sport time after solely enjoying three matches in a lowered Six Nations format.

“We know France will be hurting and we need to be quick out of the blocks,” Middleton stated.

“Playing France in France is always a huge challenge and one we’re really looking forward to.”

‘We’ve received 24 gamers left match’

Flanker Marlie Packer is isolating after shut contact with somebody who has examined constructive for Covid-19, whereas lock Cath O’Donnell is unavailable after sustaining a concussion.

Harriet Millar-Mills will get her first begin of the 12 months within the second row alongside final week’s participant of the match Zoe Aldcroft, whereas Vicky Fleetwood replaces Packer within the again row.

Ellie Kildunne is at full-back instead of Sarah McKenna, who begins at inside centre, and Amy Cokayne replaces Lark Davies at hooker.

On the bench, Exeter backs Flo Robinson and Merryn Doidge may make their England debuts, whereas again row Sarah Beckett is poised to make her return from harm.

“Although we are missing players, it’s testament to the strength and depth of our squad that we are still able to name a very strong team,” Middleton added.

“We’ve got 24 players left fit. We have got so many injuries but we have got 24 very good players. We’ve been backing off contact training this week a bit.”

New Six Nations window ‘breath of contemporary air’ for girls’s rugby

RFU boss Bill Sweeney stated on Monday that he was eager to keep the Women’s Six Nations in a separate window to the men’s tournament.

Middleton echoed that sentiment after England’s win and captain Hunter has added her assist.

“I think it has been a real breath of fresh air for women’s rugby,” she stated.

“We’re not competing with the men and we’re attracting new audiences. The press coverage has been brilliant. I think it has been a positive move.”

Middleton felt the brutal, bodily nature of England’s closing win towards France would additionally assist to develop the ladies’s sport.

He expects an analogous exhibiting on Friday night time, joking that he “can’t see it being very friendly”.

“We need more games like this one against France,” Middleton added.

“Firstly to prepare for the World Cup and secondly because it’s what the women’s game needs. The women’s game needs tough encounters.”

France make sweeping backline changes

France have shaken up their backline for the assembly, with eight changes to the XV that performed at Twickenham Stoop.

Caroline Boujard is the one again to retain her place, however strikes to the proper wing to make approach for Elise Pignot on the left.

Jessy Tremouliere is available in at full-back, with Maelle Filopon and Gabrielle Vernier within the centre.

Fly-half Morgane Peyronnet and scrum-half Pauline Bourdon additionally begin whereas Julie Annery is the one change within the pack, the place she replaces flanker Marjorie Mayans.


England: Kildunne; Breach, Scarratt, McKenna, Dow; Harrison, Riley; Cornborough, Cokayne, Brown, Aldcroft, Millar-Mills, P Cleall, Fleetwood, Hunter (capt).

Replacements: Davies, Botterman, B Cleall, Ward, Beckett, MacDonald, Robinson, Doidge.

France: Tremouliere; Boujard, Filopon, Vernier, Pignot; Peyronnet, Bourdon; Deshaye, Sochat, Bernadou, Fall, N’Diaye, Annery, Hermet (capt), Menager.

Replacements: Thomas, Arricastre, Joyeux, Diallo, Touye, Sansus, Imart, Boulard.

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