England Women U20s squad announced for season opener

England Women Under 20s Head Coach Amanda Bennett has announced her squad to face France U20s on Saturday (February 1st) at Stadium Pierre Brisson in Beauvais, France, kick off 12:30pm GMT.

Worcester scrum-half Bianca Blackburn will skipper a young England side which features four players in the starting line-up who are set to make their international debuts, and another five on the bench.


Bianca Blackburn

Welwyn’s Sydney Gregson will make her debut at fullback, Exeter Saracens’ Abigail Brown starts in the centre and Worcester duo Emily Wood is named on the wing and Amy Wigley at lock.

Rebecca Noon, Henrietta Burkinshaw, Emily Underwood, Emma Harbage and Madeleine Lockwood will all make their U20s bow if they come off the bench.

“These fixtures against France present us with a great opportunity to challenge and develop players and they also mean we can benchmark the team’s performances,” said Head Coach Bennett. “There has been a considerable amount of work since the squad was selected back in May and we’ve seen significant improvement in each player since then. This is the perfect time to test them.

 “We selected a number of young, athletic and talented players this year who have made their mark at Under 18 levels and shown real ambition. Becky Noon, Abbie Brown and Sydney Gregson are examples of the meritocracy we employ in selection as they are in the starting team based on their talent and hard work even though they are not yet 18 years-old.”

England will face one of their toughest opponents in France and they know that only too well after successive defeats to Les Blues in 2012 and 2013 but Bennett is hoping her more experienced players will play a vital role in steering her team.

“The likes of Bianca Blackburn, Courtney Gill, Catherine Pugh and Megan Goddard will bring vast experience and composure to our game plus they understand what it feels like to face France for the first time in an England shirt,” added Bennett.

“Not only will we face a physically abrasive team, but the French support is vocal – listening to thousands of people baying for English blood is an experience all England teams face and the U20s will be no different. The disappointment of losing the last couple of years is still very much with us and there are plenty of players looking to reverse those results.” 

England U20s (Club, Region, Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence College)

 15       Sydney          Gregson (Welwyn, London & South East, Hartpury)

14        Rosemary      Kells (Hartpury, South West)      

13        Abigail            Brown            (Exeter Saracens/Hartpury, South West, Hartpury)

12        Lauren Chenoweth (Worcester, South West)  

11        Emily  Wood  (Worcester, South West, Hartpury)

10        Megan            Goddard         (Worcester, South West)  

9          Bianca           Blackburn      (Worcester, South West) C          

1          Abbie  Parsons         (Reading, South West)    

2          Lark    Davies            (Worcester, Midlands)      

3          Catherine      Pugh  (Saracens, London & South East)         

4          Amy    Wigley (Worcester, Midlands, Hartpury)

5          Courtney       Gill      (Worcester, South West)  

6          Francesca     Hall     (Richmond, London & South East)       

7          Lucie  Wood  (Worcester, South West)  

8          Jo        Brown            (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, North)

Replacements:      

16        Rebecca        Noon  (Lichfield, Midlands)         

17        Henrietta        Burkinshaw  (Worcester, North) 

18        Scarlett           Cooper-Wall  (Worcester, South West)  

19        Emily  Underwood   (Bristol, South West)        

20        Madeleine     Lockwood (Lichfield, Midlands) 

21        Devon            Holt (Reading, South West)       

22        Rebecca Scholes (Glossop, North)       

23        Emma Harbage (Lichfield, Midlands)

England U20s Fixtures:

February 1st, France Women U20s v England Women U20s, Stadium Pierre Brisson, KO 12:30 GMT

February 22nd, England Women U20s v France Women U20s, Esher RFC, KO 2pm

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About Dave

I totally love sport. Rugby, cricket and soccer, but my first love will always be rugby. Other than sport I write my own poems and other interestings articles. I also love cooking. A man of many talents. When it come to Cricket I'm a Cape Cobras, Kolkata Knight Riders and Proteas supporter. Soccer there is only one team and that is Man United and Germany internationally. Other than that I'm a loving father and husband.

Posted on January 28, 2014, in England Rugby, International Rugby. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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