England Women make two changes for Wales Six Nations clash

7 February 2018, 22:52

England Women head coach Simon Middleton has made two changes to his matchday 23 ahead of the Red Roses' Six Nations Test against Wales at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Action and Mix.

Loughborough Lightning's Charlotte Pearce will make her first start for England on the wing having earned her first international cap last weekend, while Wasps Ladies hooker Amy Cokayne returns to the frontrow.

There are also two positional changes as Danielle Waterman (Wasps FC Ladies) moves to full-back, while Ellie Kildunne (Gloucester Hartpury) shifts to outside-centre

Lagi Tuima (Bristol Ladies) is included on the bench alongside Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries) and Rugby World Cup finalists Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies), Justine Lucas (Wasps FC Ladies) and Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol Ladies).

Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women), Caity Mattinson (Bristol Ladies) and Rowena Burnfield (Richmond FC) are also named among the replacements.

"We are expecting a physical encounter against Wales," said Middleton. "They play an aggressive brand of defence so there will be a lot of pressure on us when we have the ball.

"They also have a strong and well organised set piece, which we saw last week when they played Scotland, this will be a key area of the game. We have kept a good balance of consistency in selection in the forwards while still exploring different combinations out in the backs."

Middleton added: "As a squad we are really looking forward to returning to the Stoop on Saturday and playing our first home game of the tournament."

England secured a 63-0 win over Wales the last time they met in the 2017 Six Nations at Cardiff Arms Park.

15 Danielle Waterman 14 Abigail Dow, 13 Ellie Kildunne 12 Rachael Burford, 11 Charlotte Pearce, 10 Katy Daley-Mclean, 9 Leanne Riley; 1 Rochelle Clark, 2 Amy Cokayne, 3 Sarah Bern, 4 Abbie Scott, 5 Tamara Taylor, 6 Poppy Cleall, 7 Marlie Packer, 8 Sarah Hunter (c).

16 Lark Davis, 17 Vicky Cornborough, 18 Justine Lucas, 19 Rowena Burnfield, 20 Izzy Noel-Smith, 21 Caity Mattinson, 22 Zoe Harrison, 23 Lagi Tuima.