England Women set to continue momentum in Italy


England Women Lead Coach Scott Bemand has made minimal changes to the squad that started against Scotland for their second Six Nations match against Italy away on Saturday.

Having kicked off their 2016 Six Nations campaign with a confident 32-0 victory away last weekend, Bemand is keen to build on that performance. England scored five tries that night, including two by back row Harriet Millar-Mills (pictured).

Four players came off the bench to gain their first cap last weekend and there will be one new name among the reserves this time with 18-year-old Poppy Leitch seeking her England debut.

Bemand said: “There are a lot of positives to take away from the game against Scotland and it was great to have made a good start in the tournament. However, there is also plenty to work on; our accuracy let us down at times and this is something we will look to improve this weekend against Italy.

“The Scotland squad put plenty of pressure on us and we had to manage the game. Conditions weren’t ideal but we were pleased to walk away with that score. The weekend’s results have not made us complacent, the Italians are investing in their programme, we know that they can deliver an upset at home and we’re not expecting it to be easy.”

The game kicks off at 14:00 GMT from Stadio Gino Pistoni, Ivrea, and will be broadcast live on EnglandRugby.com.

England match-day 23 to face Italy

15. Katie Mason (Bristol, 7 caps)

14. Ruth Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park, 12 caps)

13. Lauren Cattell (Saracens, 14 caps)

12. Ceri Large (Worcester, 43 caps)

11. Lotte Clapp (Saracens, 3 caps)

10. Amber Reed (Bristol, 25 caps)

9. La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park, 50 caps)

1. Rochelle Clark (Worcester, 106 caps)

2. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, 9 caps)

3. Vickii Cornborough (Richmond, 10 caps)

4. Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park, 11 caps)

5. Emily Braund (Lichfield, 19 caps)

6. Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield, 27 caps)

7. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol, 13 caps)

8. Sarah Hunter (Bristol, 74 caps)


16. Emma Croker (Richmond, 59 caps)

17. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park, 3 caps)

18. Bee Dawson (Wasps, 1 caps)

19. Poppy Leitch (Bristol, uncapped)

20. Poppy Cleall (Saracens, 1 caps)

21. Bianca Blackburn (Worcester, 9 caps)

22. Leanne Riley (Richmond, 6 caps)

23. Lydia Thompson (Worcester, 18 caps)

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