TEAM NEWS | THOMPSON RETURNS FOR WARRIORS WOMEN

Lydia Thompson makes a welcome return to Warriors Women’s backline for tomorrow’s Round 3 Allianz Premier 15s fixture against Wasps Ladies at Sixways (2pm, streamed live by England Rugby).

The England speedster has been out with a rib injury and has missed her side’s opening two games, last week’s bonus point triumph at DMP Durham Sharks and the narrow defeat at Saracens on the opening day.

Thompson, who is closing in on her 50th Red Roses cap, is one of five changes to the side that left The Darlington Arena with maximum points last week.

Lyndsay O’Donnell resumes the role of captain, the Scotland capped second-row packing down alongside the impressive Amelia Buckland-Hurry in the engine room. Experienced Wales international Carys Phillips gets the nod at hooker, while Vicky Foxwell and Caity Mattinson start at outside centre and scrum-half respectively.

“We were really pleased to come away from DMP with maximum points and we’re really looking forward to playing our first home game of the season,” said Warriors Women Lead Coach Sian Moore.

“Wasps have recruited very well, and they’ve picked up a few additions from the sevens scene, who bring a lot of pace, power and flair to the team.

“We’ll focus on ourselves and being back at Sixways is an exciting proposition for us – we’re looking forward to competing against a very good Wasps side.

“As a squad we are growing and session by session we are getting stronger, so we’re really looking forward to building some momentum on the pitch.”

The game is being streamed live by England Rugby across their social channels, making the occasion extra special according to Moore.

“What more could you have as a player than to play in a stadium like this and have it broadcast live,” added Moore.

“Unfortunately, we’re not in a position where friends and family can come and watch the games, so the live streaming of our games gives them the opportunity to watch all the action.”

Warriors Women | 15 Abi Kershaw, 14 Lydia Thompson, 13 Vicky Foxwell, 12 Jade Shekells, 11 Vicky Laflin, 10 Sarah Nicholas, 9 Caity Mattinson, 1 Carmen Tremelling, 2 Carys Phillips, 3 Laura Keates, 4 Lyndsay O’Donnell (c), 5 Amelia Buckland-Hurry, 6 Taz Bricknell, 7 Alex Callender, 8 Alex Matthews

Replacements | 16 El Febrey, 17 Flo Long, 18 Elizabeth Shermer, 19 Cara Brincat, 20 Jo Brown, 21 Brooke Bradley, 22 Zoe Heeley, 23 Lowri Williams