Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nations Cup: Enough with the messing about - England put on serious face for the final

After taking every opportunity to experiment with different formations, Gary Street has clearly decided that enough is enough. One look at the team selected for the final shows that he is taking this pretty seriously as his starting XV is about as strong as fitness and availability could possibly allow.

Apart from anything else, this means that Amy Garnett of Saracens will earn her 100th cap for England when she walks out for the start of the game as, for the first time in the tournament, she makes the starting team. For a player who was originally left out of the touring party this is pretty impressive, and her performances have ensured  that she has won back her place as England no. 1 hooker. For now at least...

19 year-old Kay Wilson, at the other end of her rugby career, is the only player in starting line-up to have made her debut on this tour. Everyone else has played at least 10 times for England, and almost all of them played in the World Cup. Even the bench is pretty experienced, though Marlie Packer and Natasha Hunt both make the 22 again thanks to some excellent performances over the fortnight.

Canada are pretty confident as well, however - and after their performance on Tuesday who can blame them. Julianne Zussman - delighted to be a first choice wing for Canada having spent the World Cup watching from the sidelines - reported, after a day off on Thursday, its back to serious prepartions for the home team "Watching video of [Tuesday's] game was an eye-opening experience, as it always is. It's dumbfounding how obvious things are when you step outside of the game This afternoon we headed back out to practice with fresh eyes. John and Sandro [Canada's coaches] have a clear vision in mind for Saturday, and this afternoon we started to put the pieces in place. Building on the momentum of a successful international 7's season, and of three strong round robin performances, Canada feels ready to play the Brits!".

England's team:

15 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
14 Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
13 Claire Allan (Richmond)
12 Alice Richardson (Richmond)
11 Kay Wilson (Richmond)
10 Katy McLean (C) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
9 La Toya Mason (Wasps)
1 Claire Purdy (Wasps)
2 Amy Garnett (Saracens)
3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol)
4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
5 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
6 Rebecca Essex (Richmond)
7 Margaret Alphonsi (VC) (Saracens)
8 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield)

16 Vicky Fleetwood (Lichfield)
17 Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
18 Jenny Brightmore (Worcester)
19 Marlie Packer (Bristol)
20 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
21 Sarah McKenna (Old Albanians Saints)
22 Michaela Staniford (Wasps)

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