Warriors Women quintet in England Under-20s squad

Five Warriors Women players have been included in the England Under-20s squad for their opening match in the Tri-Nations Cup opener against USA at Loughborough University on Saturday (kick-off 3.00pm).

Loosehead prop Akina Gondwe, centre Megan Varley, wing Cara Clarke and full-back Carys Cox will all start with prop Lauren Leatherland among the replacements.

The squad assembled on Tuesday to prepare for the tournament in which England will also play Canada on Sunday July 28. USA will face Canada in the middle match on Wednesday July 24.

In the three-nation tournament hosted by Canada last year, England secured the title as they went undefeated across their matches with a 36-17 victory over USA and a 27-17 win against Canada.

“We’ve had short lead in to this first game but preparations so far have gone well,” said England Under-20s coach Jo Yapp.

“We have had a good opportunity to do a collaborative session with USA and Canada which the players and staff both took a lot of learnings from.

“The players are now very much looking forward to what we know will be a very physical contest on Saturday.

“We’re delighted to be hosting the Tri-Nations Cup at home this year after a fantastic event in Canada last summer.

“With a number of players out due to injury, this tournament gives several younger players an opportunity to step up.

“It allows players to not only develop on the field but being in camp and having back-to-back games is a fantastic way to prepare players for senior competitions in the future. All the players are looking forward to the challenge.”

All three matches will be non-ticketed with entry to the games at Loughborough University free.