WRWC: England make ten changes for Italy match

The Red Roses have brought in ten new players to the match-day squad ahead of their second World Cup pool match against Italy.

Emily Scarratt returns to the starting line-up at outside centre and replaces Sarah Hunter as captain, while in the halves Natasha Hunt and Amber Reed replace Riley and McLean. Rachael Burford, who impressed on the June tour of New Zealand, gets a start in the centres, while on the wing Amy Wilson Hardy returns to the team for the first time since the Six Nations.

In the forwards, veterans Rocky Clarke and Tamara Taylor return to the side, and in the back row Marlie Packer comes in at openside flanker, while Alex Matthews starts at Number 8.

The Red Roses will be familiar with their opposition as the Italians are fellow Six Nations competitors, and England will want to improve on their most recent performance against the Azzurri in February where they laboured to a 29 – 15 win.

In that game, their back-line attack was not fluid and they made a lot of unforced errors, but with the likes of Hunt and Reed at 9 and 10, and the experience of Scarratt, Burford and Waterman outside them, they should be much more composed and organised in this match.

One thing they will want to improve is the line-out, which was verging on dreadful in their opening game against Spain. Additionally, they will be looking to use the rolling maul as an attacking weapon, as it was a big feature of their last win against the Italians.

Italy have some high quality players of their own – the lively scrum-half Sara Barattin and full-back Manuela Furlan are both very good attacking players and will certainly be a test for the Red Roses’ defence. However, England should have enough to beat the Italians comfortably and get one step closer to retaining their World Cup title.

The game will be broadcast live from 2pm on ITV1 for viewers in the UK and is also available to watch on the WRWC site.

Red Roses Team to play Italy (Sunday 13th August @ 2.30pm BST, 9.30am ET, 6.30am PST, 11.30pm AEST, Dublin)

15. Danielle Waterman (Bristol, 71 caps)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries, 33 caps)
13. Emily Scarratt (Lichfield, 70 caps) ©
12. Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies, 68 caps)
11. Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol, 7 caps)
10. Amber Reed (Bristol, 40 caps)
9. Natasha Hunt (Lichfield, 37 caps)

1. Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries, 125 caps)
2. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, 29 caps)
3. Justine Lucas (Lichfield, 23 caps)
4. Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 106 caps)
5. Zoe Aldcroft (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 5 caps)
6. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol, 33 caps)
7. Marlie Packer (Bristol, 47 caps)
8. Alex Matthews (Richmond, 33 caps).


16. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 9 caps)
17. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies, 27 caps)
18. Poppy Cleall (Bristol, 13 caps)
19. Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield, 47 caps)
20. Sarah Hunter (Bristol, 94 caps)
21. La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 67 caps)
22. Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 87 caps)
23. Megan Jones (Bristol, 5 caps).




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