Sarah Hunter will return from a long-term injury lay-off to captain England in the Women’s Six Nations. Hunter’s Loughborough team-mate, Helena Rowland, is among four Great Britain Sevens internationals, including Meg Jones, Ellie Kildunne, and Alex Matthews named in the squad of 38.
Simon Middleton’s Red Roses squad will come together in Doncaster on Monday. England’s defense of their Six Nations title starts against Scotland at Castle Park on 3 April. Injuries have ruled Sarah Bern (shoulder), Natasha Hunt (ankle), Laura Keates (knee) and Morwenna Talling (knee) out for the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Saracens quartet of Hannah Botterman, Bryony Cleall, Vicky Fleetwood and Sarah McKenna, as well as the Gloucester-Hartpury duo of Zoe Aldcroft and Ellena Perry and Worcester Warriors’ Lydia Thompson return after missing the autumn fixtures through injury.
Six development players, front-rowers Maud Muir and Flo Long, and backs Ellie Green, Merryn Doidge, Beth Wilcock, and Flo Robinson have also been included. Joining Exeter’s Robinson in the squad is her older sister Emily, a Harlequins flanker also looking to earn her first cap. Middleton said disruptions caused by the pandemic had prompted the inclusion of development players in an expanded squad.