Davies in England side for France test

Valkyries captain Lark Davies will again start for England in Sunday’s Women’s Six Nations match against defending champions France at Doncaster (kick-off 12.45pm).

Davies won the Player of the Match award for her outstanding performance in the win over Ireland in Dublin last week which included a try.

Hooker Davies will pack down alongside the experienced Vickii Cornborough who returns at loosehead prop as one of four changes to the side.

Lock Abbie Scott also returns to the starting line-up moving Poppy Cleall in a positional change to flanker. Bristol Bears flanker Poppy Leitch has been called in to replace Marlie Packer, who is rested having picked up a shoulder injury last week.

England Head Coach Simon Middleton said: “We have no misconception of the size of the challenge ahead of us against France on Sunday. We were pleased with our performance against Ireland but we now have to improve to get a winning outcome.

“Given their recent form and the fact France come into the tournament as champions, they rightly go into the game favourites.

“We have confidence in this squad and have had an excellent preparation through the week. We are really looking forward to returning to Doncaster where we had fantastic support from the crowd in November.”

England Women

15 Sarah McKenna (Saracens Women)
14 Jess Breach (Harlequins Ladies)
13 Emily Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning)
12 Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury)
11 Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury, 6 caps)
10 Katy Daley-Mclean (Loughborough Lightning)
9 Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies)
1 Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies)
2 Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries)
3 Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears Women)
4 Catherine O’Donnell (Loughborough Lightning)
5 Abbie Scott (Harlequins Ladies)
6 Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women)
7 Poppy Leitch (Bristol Bears Women)
8 Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning) (C)

Replacements
16 Amy Cokayne (Wasps FC Ladies)
17 Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women)
18 Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Ladies)
19 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond Ladies)
20 Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo)
21 Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury)
22 Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women)
23 Emily Scott (Harlequins Ladies)