Valkyries duo named in England squad for Italy clash

Valkyries duo Laura Keates and Rochelle Clark have been named in the England squad for their Six Nations clash with Italy on Saturday at Twickenham Stoop (kick-off 1pm, live on Sky Sports 2).

Keates, who has 58 caps to her name, starts at tighthead prop while Clark, who is England’s highest ever appearance maker with 119 caps, is named amongst the replacements.

Head Coach Simon Middleton, who has made eight changes to the starting line-up, said: “We are working to improve continually through the competition and that is our aim.

“Saturday will provide players who have trained hard week in week out with an opportunity to show what they have to offer on the pitch. We must respect Italy as a side and that is reflected by the depth of our preparation for Saturday’s game.”

Meanwhile, Valkyries' Brooke Clarke is named on the bench for England Under 20s against Italy on Saturday at Esher RFC. 

15 Sarah McKenna (Saracens, 10 caps) 
14 Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol, 5 caps) 
13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield, 63 caps)
12 Rachael Burford (Aylesford Bulls, 62 caps) 
11 Kay Wilson (Richmond, 39 caps)
10 Emily Scott (Saracens, 18 caps) 
9 La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 61 caps)
1 Justine Lucas (Lichfield, 16 caps) 
2 Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens, 56 caps) 
3 Laura Keates (Worcester Valkyries, 58 caps) 
4 Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield, 40 caps) 
5 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 100 caps)
6 Alex Matthews (Richmond, 26 caps) 
7 Marlie Packer (Bristol, 42 caps)
8 Sarah Hunter (Bristol, 87 caps) (C)

16 Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, 22 caps)
17 Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries, 119 caps)
18 Sarah Bern (Bristol, 6 caps)
19 Poppy Cleall (Bristol, 9 caps)
20 Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol, 26 caps)
21 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield, 35 caps)
22 Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 82 caps)
23 Amber Reed (Bristol, 34 caps)