Seven Valkyries in England Women squad to face Canada 

A whopping seven Worcester Valkyries players have been named in the England Women squad to play Canada on Friday at the Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City, USA (kick-off 10pm BST).

Lydia Thompson, Ceri Large, Rochelle Clark and Courtney Gill all start for the Women while Lark Davies, Laura Keates and Bianca Blackburn are named among the replacements. 

The experienced Rochelle Clark MBE, who has 110 caps to her name, starts at loosehead prop with Gill given the nod in the second row, while winger Thompson and centre Large link up in the backline. 

It could be an extra special occasion for prop Keates, who is set for her 50th international appearance if she comes off the bench this Friday. 

The match will be the first of three games in the Women’s Rugby Super Series.

Lead Coach Scott Bemand said: “The team have acclimatised well in Utah since arriving. The heat is an obvious factor to get used to but it is the same for everyone out here.

“We are looking forward to getting the first game underway. Canada will provide us with some tough opposition, as will France and the USA next week, but that is what we came for and what we need if we are going to develop and improve as a side.”

England and Canada played each other in last year’s Super Series, with England narrowly securing a 15-14 victory at Ellersie Park in Edmonton, Canada. 

England Women games in the Women’s Rugby Super Series kick-off at 10pm BST and all games will be broadcast live on TheRugbyChannel.TV. 

England Women team vs Canada
15 Katie Mason (Bristol) (10 caps)
14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester) (22 caps)
13 Millie Wood (Lichfield) (uncapped)
12 Ceri Large (Worcester) (47 caps)
11 Lotte Clapp (Saracens) (7 caps)
10 Amber Reed (Bristol) (29 caps)
9 La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park) (54 caps)
1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester) (110 caps)
2 Amy Cokayne (Lichfield) (13 caps)
3 Victoria Cornborough (Richmond) (14 caps)
4 Courtney Gill (Worcester) (1 cap)
5 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park) (91 caps)
6 Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield) (31 caps)
7 Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol) (17 caps)
8 Sarah Hunter (Bristol) (78 caps) (C)

Replacements
16 Lark Davies (Worcester) (1 cap)
17 Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park) (6 caps)
18 Laura Keates (Worcester) (49 caps)
19 Alex Matthews (Richmond) (21 caps)
20 Poppy Leitch (Bristol) (3 caps)
21 Bianca Blackburn (Worcester) (13 caps)
22 Lauren Cattell (Saracens) (18 caps)
23 Fiona Pocock (Richmond) (26 caps)

England Women fixtures:
Canada v England, 1 July
England v France, 5 July
England v USA, 9 July