Three summer signings will make their Warriors Women debut in the Tyrrells Premier 15s season opener at Wasps FC Ladies on Saturday (3.00pm kick-off).
Lock Gwen Crabb, flanker Taz Bricknell and winger Caitlin Lewis are all included in Roy Davies’ side, with fellow new faces Jade Shekells and Mary-Ann Gittings named on the bench.
Lyndsay O’Donnell, capped 15 times by Scotland, captains Warriors for the first time from the second-row, with England Under-20s team-mates Akina Gondwe and Lauren Leatherland joining Alicia Watkins in the front row.
Wales international flanker Alex Callender and Kiwi No.8 Lisa Campbell round off the pack, while Brooke Bradley and Megan Goddard are the half-backs.
Lewis is joined in the back three by full-back Carys Cox and winger Cara Clarke, who along with Gondwe and Leatherland, helped the national development side win the Tri-Nations Cup in July.
The final member of Warriors’ England Under-20s contingent Megan Varley joins Vicky Foxwell in the centres.
Warriors Women’s Development side are also in action, with a trio of summer signings named in the backline.
Angharad de Smet, Jess Wilson and Georgie Perris-Redding will all be part of the team that faces Wasps Development in a 2.30pm kick-off.
Director of Rugby Davies is excited by what promises to be a tough challenge at Twyford Avenue, with Wasps one of the four teams to make the play-offs last season.
“If we perform well, hopefully we can get the outcome we want,” he said, “we know it’s going to be tough, we know we have to perform but we’re excited about it as well.
“It’s been a long time since we had some rugby, we haven’t played since the end of March so it’ll be good to see how it goes.”
Warriors Women | 15 Carys Cox; 14 Cara Clarke, 13 Vicky Foxwell, 12 Megan Varley, 11 Caitlin Lewis; 10 Megan Goddard, 9 Brooke Bradley; 1 Akina Gondwe, 2 Alicia Watkins, 3 Lauren Leatherland; 4 Gwen Crabb, 5 Lyndsay O’Donnell (c); 6 Taz Bricknell, 7 Alex Callender, 8 Lisa Campbell.
Replacements | 16 Narcisse Jordan, 17 Daisy French, 18 Elizabeth Shermer, 19 Lucy Lockhart, 20 Ffion Lewis, 21 Jade Shekells, 22 Mary-Ann Gittings