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...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Eight changes as England call up big guns for Ferns

Eight of women's rugby's biggest names are back in the England squad for the series against the Black Fern.

The squad announced today includes 18 players from the party that went to France, but replaces Rosemarie Crowley, Rose Jay, Ceri Large, Sarah McKenna, Harriet Millar-Mills, Isobel Noel-Smith, Tamara Taylor and Lydia Thompson with Maggie Alphonsi, Rachael Burford, Becky Essex, Sophie Hemming, Katy McLean, Claire Purdy, Tamara Taylor, and Nollie Waterman.

However, two new caps from the French tour are retained - Hannah Gallagher and Alex Matthews.

This is clearly a squad that means business. Every player has played at least one test match - following the last Six Nations England have had both the Nations Cup and the French tour to experiment with new players, positions and tactics - five tests and one uncapped international, so there is no need to try anything new. The result is a pretty awesome team.

The challenge, of course, will be to keep the team on top form over a challenging three games in just over a week - but again England's preparation for that could hardly have been better, with four test in a fortnight in Canada and now two in four days in France.

The full squad is:
  • Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens)
  • Rachael Burford (Richmond)
  • Rowena Burnfield (Richmond) 
  • Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
  • Rebecca Essex(Richmond)
  • Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
  • Hannah Gallagher (Saracens)
  • Sophie Hemming (Bristol)
  • Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
  • Sarah Hunter (Lichfield) 
  • Laura Keates (Worcester) 
  • La Toya Mason (Wasps)
  • Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)
  • Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
  • Katherine Merchant (Worcester)
  • Kimberley Oliver (Bristol)
  • Marlie Packer (Bristol)
  • Claire Purdy(Wasps) 
  • Alice Richardson (Richmond)
  • Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
  • Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
  • Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
  • Amy Turner (Richmond)
  • Tamara Taylor(Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
  • Danielle Waterman (Worcester)
  • Kay Wilson (Richmond)
The dates for the three tests are:
  • Nov 26th England v New Zealand, Twickenham Stadium, KO 5pm, live on Sky Sports
  • Nov 29th England v New Zealand, Esher RFC, KO 7pm
  • Dec 3rd England v New Zealand, Esher RFC, 2pm
Tickets for the game at Twickenham on November 26th are available from and group booking are available from the RFU by calling 0871 22 22 017, option 6. Prices range from £65 to £35. Junior tickets cost just £15.

Tickets for the international tests at Esher RFC on November 29th and December 3rd will be available on the gate and cost £10 for adults and £5 for juniors. They can also be purchased in advance at

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