England Women’s Rugby Union head coach Simon Middleton has made a host of changes to his side that beat the USA in the Women’s Rugby Super Series opener as they prepare to take on Canada.
After opening their title defence with a win, Middleton makes nine changes to his side as he brings Grand Slam winning captain Sarah Hunter back into the starting line up at number eight with Sarah Beckett joining her in the back row, while Jo Brown moves from her starting position of blindside flanker against the USA to openside for this match up.
Catherine O’Donnell also comes off the substitutes bench to start in the second row, while Vickii Cornborough, Lark Davies and Hannah Botterman all start in what will be a completely new front row.
In the backs Middleton has chosen a new midfield partnership off Emily Scott and Millie Wood, with Carys Williams on the wing.
Speaking at the team announcement, Middleton was happy to have his captain back on the filed as he said;
“It's huge when Sarah Hunter plays for us, we have some great back row players but she has so much character and leadership so it's great to have her back.”
With a 38-5 win already under their belt, England will take on Canada with a past record that see’s England victorious in 16 of the last 17 meetings between the two sides, including a 27-19 victory in Doncaster last autumn.
Following on from this game they will come up against some much stronger opposition as they face France and World Champions New Zealand in the final two match’s of the five team tournament.
England Women: 15 Sarah McKenna, 14 Carys Williams, 13 Millie Wood,12 Emily Scott,11 Kelly Smith, 10 Zoe Harrison, 9 Claudia Macdonald; 1 Vickii Cornborough, 2 Lark Davies, 3 Hannah Botterman, 4 Catherine O'Donnell, 5 Zoe Aldcroft, 6 Sarah Beckett, 7 Jo Brown, 8 Sarah Hunter (c)
Replacements: 16 Heather Kerr, 17 Ellena Perry, 18 Chloe Edwards, 9 Abbie Scott, 20 Poppy Cleall, 21 Leanne Riley, 22 Emily Scarratt, 23 Amber Reed