Middleton names England team to face Barbarians
England Women’s head coach Simon Middleton has named his Red Roses side to play in a historic first match against Barbarians Women on Sunday 2 June at Twickenham Stadium (KO 1245pm, live on Sky Sports).
With 113 international caps to her name, Sarah Hunter captains the side, having successfully led the team to Gland Slam glory in this season’s Six Nations.
She is joined by Kelly Smith of Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC, who was the top try scorer in the Tyrrells Premier 15s this season, scoring an impressive 24 tries.
Looking for their first England appearances from the bench is Bristol Bears player Clara Nielson along with Harlequins Ladies prop Chloe Edwards, while 20 year-old Lagi Tuima, who missed the Six Nations through injury, starts as outside centre.
Simon Middleton said: “This is the first time England Women has played the Barbarians and we know it will be a fantastic occasion.
“The Barbarians side is really experienced with 946 caps between the players which will make the game a real challenge. The Red Roses want to play the best possible teams and a Barbarians side with this level of strength and depth will guarantee a testing encounter.
“Our last run out at Twickenham against Scotland in the Six Nations produced an incredibly impressive performance by the team and although we’re fielding a very changed side, with several players out due to injury, Sunday’s game will be a great opportunity for younger players to step up.
“This match is an important next step in our summer tour preparations and in the longer term as we build up to the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2021.”
15. Sarah McKenna (Saracens Women)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries)
13. Lagi Tuima (Bristol Bears Women)
12. Amber Reed (Bristol Bears Women)
11. Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartbury Women’s RFC)
10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women)
9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies)
1. Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women)
2. Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears Women)
4. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC)
5. Abbie Scott (Harlequins Ladies)
6. Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women)
7. Jo Brown (Loughborough Lightning)
8. Sarah Hunter (Captain) (Loughborough Lightning)
16. Clara Nielson (Bristol Bears Women)
17. Ellena Perry (Saracens Women)
18. Chloe Edwards (Harlequins Ladies)
19. Rosie Galligan (Saracens Women)
20. Rowena Burnfield (Richmond FC)
21. Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartbury Women’s RFC)
22. Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartbury Women’s RFC)
23. Carys Williams (Loughborough Lightening)