Matthews and Thompson ready for Grand Slam decider

Alex Matthews will win her 50th cap for England alongside Warriors teammate Lydia Thompson in this Saturday’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations showdown with France in Bayonne (kick-off 2.15pm UK time, live on BBC Two).

Matthews starts at blindside flanker, while try-scoring machine Thompson gets the nod on the wing as the Red Roses look to seal the Grand Slam against a tough French outfit.

England Head Coach Simon Middleton said: “Alex Matthews is someone that I’ve had the privilege of working with for a very long time.

“She is a fantastic player – she has a great skill set and is an amazing athlete with a phenomenal work rate. To reach 50 caps and also be as successful on the sevens circuit as she has been, should not be underestimated. Alex is also extremely humble too.”

Matthews was a try-scorer in England’s 58-5 victory over Wales at Kingsholm in Round 3 of the competition, with Thompson dotting down twice during last week’s 69-0 triumph against Ireland at Welford Road.

Thompson’s haul of tries during this year’s competition has taken her to 43 tries in 52 appearances, with the Stourbridge-born flyer keen to add to her tally this weekend.

England team to play France

15. Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning, 14 caps)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Warriors, 52 caps)
13. Emily Scarratt (C; Loughborough Lightning, 100 caps)
12. Holly Aitchison (Saracens, 7 caps)
11. Jess Breach (Harlequins, 21 caps)
10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens, 37 caps)
9. Leanne Infante (Bristol Bears, 50 caps)

1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins, 68 caps)
2. Lark Davies (Loughborough Lightning, 39 caps)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears, 44 caps)
4. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury, 29 caps)
5. Abbie Ward (VC; Bristol Bears, 54 caps)
6. Alex Matthews (Worcester Warriors, 49 caps)
7. Marlie Packer (Saracens, 82 caps)
8. Poppy Cleall (Saracens, 54 caps)


Amy Cokayne (Harlequins, 61 caps)

Hannah Botterman (Saracens, 27 caps)

Maud Muir (Wasps, 8 caps)

Rosie Galligan (Harlequins, 5 caps)

Sarah Beckett (Harlequins, 23 caps)

Sadia Kabeya (Loughborough Lightning, 3 caps)

Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury, 58 caps)

Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins, 22 caps)