Thursday, 7th February 2019 @ 18:00
England Women U20 head coach Jo Yapp has named the squad to face the Army on Saturday 9 February at the Army Rugby Stadium, Aldershot (kick-off: 14:00)
With a number of talented youngsters progressing to the Red Roses this season, including Six Nations debutants Sarah Beckett and Rosie Galligan, there are several new names within the development side.
Among the starting XV are eight players that will make their debuts. Merryn Doidge (Worcester Valkyries), Ellen Ramsbottom (Loughborough Lightning), Shauna Bennett (Gloucester-Hartpury), Cara Clarke (Worcester Valkyries), Megan Varley (Worcester Valkyries), Bryony Field (Loughborough Lightning), Anya Richmond (Loughborough Lightning), and Eleanor Febrey (Gloucester-Hartpury) will all be pulling on the England U20 shirt for the first time on Saturday.
Additionally, Gloucester-Hartpury teen Eleanor Febrey has been called in from the Talent Development Group (TDG) at flanker while Charlotte Faux (Gloucester-Hartpury) and Maud Muir (Wasps FC Ladies, TDG) also start on the bench, having impressed in the Tyrrells Premier 15s.
Bringing experience to the side following last summer’s tour to Canada, where England secured a 3-0 series win, are Cara Brincat, who starts at No 8, props Akina Gondwe and Detysha Harper, fly-half Ellie Green, and scrum half Ella Wyrwas.
Gloucester-Hartpury outside centre Shauna Bennett and Bristol Bears second row Hollie Cunnigham co-captain the side.
Saturday’s fixture provides the young team with an ideal preparation before their home and away fixtures against France Women U20 in March. The squad come together today, having had an initial four-day training camp in January.
England Women U20 head coach Jo Yapp today said: “We are really excited to bring this young team together for their first fixture of the season. It’s always a great test against the Army, a side who are experienced, physical and well organised.
“This year we have a total of 16 players who have been identified through both the TDG programme and the Tyrrells Premier 15s set to make their U20 debut. Playing regularly in the TP15s alongside senior internationals has really accelerated their development.
“This is a talented group and we are looking forward to seeing how they step up to the challenge over the next few weeks”
Access to Saturday’s game is free for spectators, for more details visit www.armyrugbyunion.org.uk
England Women U20 match-day 23 v Army (Club/College/University)
15. Merryn Doidge (Bristol Bears Women/Exeter College) *
14. Ellen Ramsbottom (Loughborough Lightning/Loughborough College)*
13. Shauna Bennett (Gloucester-Hartpury/Hartpury College)*
12. Megan Varley (Worcester Valkyries/Coventry University)*
11. Cara Clarke (Worcester Valkyries/University of Bath)*
10. Ellie Green (Harlequins Ladies/Reigate Grammar School)
9. Ella Wyrwas (Loughborough Lightning/University of Nottingham)
1. Akina Gondwe (Worcester Valkyries/University of Worcester)
2. Bryony Field (Loughborough Lightning/Loughborough College)*
3. Detysha Harper (Firwood Waterloo Ladies/Manchester Metropolitan University)
4. Anya Richmond (Loughborough Lightning/ Loughborough College)*
5. Hollie Cunnigham (Bristol Bears Women/Exeter University)
6. Eleanor Febrey (Gloucester-Hartpury/Hartpury College)*
7. Amelia Harper (Loughborough Lightning/ Loughborough College)
8. Cara Brincat (Worcester Valkyries/University of Worcester)
16. Charlie Budge (Bristol Bears Women/ Exeter University)*
17. Florence Long (Bristol Bears Women/SGS College Filton)*
18. Jessica Thomas (Bristol Bears Women/ Exeter University)*
19. Maud Muir (Wasps FC Ladies/n/a)*
20. Charlotte Faux (Gloucester-Hartpury/Hartpury College)*
21. Megan Davey (Loughborough Lightning/Loughborough University)*
22. Lucie Skuse (Bristol Bears Women/n/a)*
23. Carys Cox (Worcester Valkyries/Cardiff Metropolitan University)*
* New to squad
Iona Antwis (Gloucester-Hartpury/Hartpury College)
Emma Sing (Gloucester-Hartpury/Hartpury College)
Laura Perrin (Firwood Waterloo/N/A)
Jodie Mallard (Loughborough Lightning/Loughborough College)
Jasmine Bell (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks/n/a)
Louisa Ward (Harlequins Ladies/MPW London College)