Red Roses name matchday 23 to play Scotland in Women’s Six Nations opener

Red Roses name matchday 23 to play Scotland in Women’s Six Nations opener

Head coach Simon Middleton has named his matchday 23 for England’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations opener against Scotland at Kingston Park (Saturday 25 March, KO 16:45 and live on BBC Two). 

Sarah Hunter will lead her side for one final time at No.8 after announcing she is to retire following the match in her hometown of Newcastle.

Saracens prop Mackenzie Carson has been called up to England’s Six Nations squad after her birth right transfer to represent the Red Roses was confirmed. The 24-year-old qualifies for England through her English mother.

Having previously earned three caps for Canada, including one against England during the Autumn Internationals in 2018, Carson has made herself available to play for England under World Rugby’s birth right transfer rules which allows a capped player to switch allegiance to another country they are eligible to play for following a three-year stand-down period. She starts at loose-head prop to earn her first cap alongside Amy Cokayne (hooker) and Sarah Bern (tight-head prop) in the front row. 

Elsewhere, Zoe Aldcroft and Poppy Cleall are the lock pairing while Sadia Kabeya and co-captain Marlie Packer start at blind-side flanker and open-side flanker respectively. 

Abby Dow (full back), Jess Breach (right wing) and Claudia MacDonald (left wing) make up the back three.

Holly Aitchison and Amber Reed form the 10-12 axis with Harlequins’ Lucy Packer at scrum half and Lagi Tuima at outside centre.

Liz Crake, Kelsey Clifford and Ella Wyrwas are all in line to earn their first caps after being named among the substitutes.

Lock Rosie Galligan will miss the tournament after sustaining a hamstring injury in training last week. 

Meanwhile, scrum half Natasha Hunt is unavailable for selection for this fixture due to a calf injury. 

England team to play Scotland

15. Abby Dow (Harlequins, 30 caps)
14. Jess Breach (Saracens, 24 caps)
13. Lagi Tuima (Harlequins, 12 caps)
12. Amber Reed (Bristol Bears, 62 caps)
11. Claudia MacDonald (Exeter Chiefs, 24 caps)
10. Holly Aitchison (Saracens, 15 caps)
9. Lucy Packer (Harlequins, 9 caps)

1. Mackenzie Carson (Saracens, uncapped)
2. Amy Cokayne (Harlequins, 70 caps)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears, 52 caps)
4. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury, 38 caps)
5. Poppy Cleall (Saracens, 63 caps)
6. Sadia Kabeya (Loughborough Lightning, 8 caps)
7. Marlie Packer (CC; Saracens, 89 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (CC; Loughborough Lightning, 140 caps)

16. Lark Davies (Bristol Bears, 44 caps)
17. Liz Crake (Wasps, uncapped)
18. Kelsey Clifford (Saracens, uncapped)
19. Cath O’Donnell (Loughborough Lightning, 24 caps)
20. Sarah Beckett (Gloucester-Hartpury, 25 caps)
21. Ella Wyrwas (Saracens, uncapped)
22. Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury, 9 caps)
23. Emma Sing (Gloucester-Hartpury, 2 caps)

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