Planet Rugby

Wholesale changes from England

12th March 2014 12:25

Share:

Danielle Waterman

Starts: Danielle Waterman

England Women's head coach Gary Street has made a raft of changes ahead of Sunday's final Six Nations match of the season against Italy.

Street has made eleven alterations to the starting line-up, including four positional, for a match where the Triple Crown champions will be looking to secure their fourth win of the Six Nations.

An opening championship defeat to France has cost England dear as they now have to hope Ireland can defeat France on Friday to keep alive their hopes of reclaiming the Six Nations crown.

Only wing Katherine Merchant, prop Rochelle Clark, lock Tamara Taylor and flanker Maggie Alphonsi, who will win her 70th cap on Sunday, retain their starting places from Friday's 35-3 win over Wales. 24-year-old Emily Scarratt, player of the match against Ireland and Wales, moves from full-back to outside-centre to win her 50th cap with Amber Reed switching to inside centre, whilst Sarah Hunter moves to flanker and Rebecca Essex is named in the back-row at number eight.

With skipper Katy Mclean, who has started every game this season, on the bench, Ceri Large starts at fly-half and Hunter takes over the captaincy. Full-back Danielle Waterman, who has 54 caps and has competed in two Rugby World Cups, is also set to start her first XVs game in 16 months. Richmond wing Natasha Brennan will also make her first start for England after making her England debut coming off the bench against Wales and scoring.

On the bench Mercedes Foy, Claire Purdy, Georgina Gulliver and Lydia Thompson have all been called back into the squad ahead of England's final match before the World Cup.

"Having such depth of quality players in our squad does make it a challenge to keep consistency but as this is our last game before the RWC we have got to give players game time. We have not weakened the squad at all but given it a fresh boost before our last game of the Six Nations," said Street.

"It's great to have a fully fit Danielle Waterman back in the squad who I hope can add something different to the team, whilst Natasha Brennan very much impressed on her debut last week and it is vital we see more of her.

"Katy Mclean has been outstanding as captain and at fly-half this season but we have a very able back-up in Ceri Large at 10 who also needs to get some more game time under her belt."

England: 15 Danielle Waterman, 14 Katherine Merchant, 13 Emily Scarratt, 12 Amber Reed, 11 Natasha Brennan, 10 Ceri Large, 9 Natasha Hunt, 8 Rebecca Essex, 7 Margaret Alphonsi, 6 Sarah Hunter (capt), 5 Tamara Taylor, 4 Joanna McGilchrist, 3 Laura Keates, 2 Victoria Fleetwood, 1 Rochelle Clark.
Replacements: 16 Mercedes Foy, 17 Claire Purdy, 18 Sophie Hemming, 19 Hannah Gallagher, 20 Marlie Packer, 21 Georgina Gulliver, 22 Katy Mclean, 23 Lydia Thompson.

Date: Sunday, March 16
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Venue: Stadio Giulio e Silvio Pagani, Rovato
Referee: Marlize Jordaan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Barbara Guastini (Italy), Doranna De Carlini (Italy)
Assessor: Michel Lamoulie (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Preview
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26