Five Valkyries in England Under-20s side

Valkyries will have five players in England Under-20s’ starting XV for the second of their back-to-back internationals against France at Newbury on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm).

England were beaten 31-12 in Strasbourg last Saturday but Head Coach Jo Yapp has named an unchanged side which includes Valkyries full-back Carys Cox, centre Megan Varley, wing Cara Clarke, loosehead prop Akina Gondwe and blindside flanker Cara Brincat.

The only changes to the squad are on the bench where Loughborough Lightning centre Ellen Ramsbottom receives her first call-up for England Women U20 and Bristol Bears duo Florence Long and Ebony Jeffries also being named as replacements.

“Despite the result not going our way last weekend I’m really pleased with how the squad have come together this week, analysed our game and identified where we need to improve to build on our performance this weekend,” said Yapp.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how these learnings will be implemented on Saturday which will enable the players to demonstrate what they are capable of.”

Prop Lauren Leatherland, who made her England Under-20s debut as a replacement in Strasbourg, will return to club duty on Saturday as a starter for Valkyries Development XV in their Tyrrells Premier 15s Development League match at Darlington Mowden Park (kick-off 3.00pm).

Valkyries Development XV
15 Josie Symonds
14 Eleanor Beech
13 Thea Thompson
12 Lucy Lockhart
11 Vicky Laflin
10 Connie Bradshaw
9 Ally Taft
1 Jo Povall
2 Alicia Watkins
3 Lauren Leatherland
4 Laura Thomas
5 Elizabeth Shermer
6 Sara Moreira
7 Jasmine Gibbons
8 Tilly Churm (C)

Replacements
16 Sarah Kingdon
17 Sarah Davey
18 Daisy French
19 Emma Harris
20 Hannah Monk
21 Hattie Cumber