Nanaama sakyiwaaFebruary 22, 20194min1270

England Women make nine changes ahead of facing Wales in Six Nations

Head coach Simon Middleton has made nine changes to his England Women side ahead of facing Wales on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Arena & Sky Sports Mix.

The Red Roses, who have won both their opening Tests comprehensively in this year’s Championship, beating Ireland Women 41-7 at Donnybrook and reigning Grand Slam champions France Women 41-26 in Doncaster, travel to Cardiff for Sunday’s Test.

Harlequins Ladies second row Abbie Scott will captain the side with Sarah Hunter named on the bench, while Harlequins centre and 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup winner Rachael Burford and Wasps winger Abby Dow both start, making their first appearances this Six Nations
After being rested against France, openside flanker Marlie Packer returns to the starting line-up alongside blindside Sarah Beckett, while Gloucester-Hartpury scrum-half Natasha Hunt, Saracens fly-half Zoe Harrison and Wasps hooker Amy Cokayne all make their maiden starts this year.

In two positional changes, Poppy Cleall will play at No 8 while Jess Breach moves to the left wing.

 

“While we were extremely pleased with our first half performance against France we were disappointed with our defensive efforts in the second half,” Middleton said on Friday. “Defensively, we were nowhere near the level that we want to be at or that we expect of ourselves.
“This disappointment has served as a great motivator for us going into this weekend’s fixture against Wales which we know will be a huge occasion.

“Wales will undoubtedly be buoyed by having gone from conceding over 50 points in their opening game against France to conceding only three against a strong Italian side. This, combined with our upcoming game being their first home fixture of this year’s Six Nations, will give Wales great confidence going into the weekend.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 12: Rachael Burford of England hands off the tackle of Emilee Cherry of Australia during the Marriott London Sevens – Day Two at Twickenham on May 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

The two sides last met in the 2018 Six Nations where England defeated Wales 52-0.

England Women: 15 Sarah McKenna, 14 Abby Dow, 13 Rachael Burford, 12 Zoe Harrison, 11 Jess Breach, 10 Katy Daley-Mclean, 9 Natasha Hunt; 1 Vickii Cornborough, 2 Amy Cokayne, 3 Sarah Bern, 4 Catherine O’Donnell, 5 Abbie Scott, 6 Sarah Beckett, 7 Marlie Packer, 8 Poppy Cleall.

Replacements: 16 Lark Davies, 17 Hannah Botterman, 18 Shaunagh Brown, 19 Jo Brown, 20 Sarah Hunter, 21 Claudia Macdonald, 22 Carys Williams, 23 Emily Scott.

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