Mclean says England will learn French lessons
England Women’s captain Katy Mclean says England will use Saturday’s disappointments against France to spur them on against Scotland this weekend and get their Six Nations campaign back on track.
Mclean’s side fell to an 18-6 defeat in the opening round of the Six Nations in Grenoble and now they take on a Scottish side on Sunday at Aberdeen Grammar (2pm) that is wounded too after their 59-0 loss.
“France were sharper than us at the breakdown; they kicked off well and they put us under a lot of pressure,” said fly-half Mclean. “However, that defeat will build character and I would rather do that now than in August at the World Cup.
“The games come in quick succession so we have to learn quickly and we are not lacking motivation in that area. We will pick ourselves up, examine what went wrong and action what we need to, to put it right.
“We are under no illusions playing Scotland though. They’ll be looking to put us under pressure and they will be hurting too. We know only too well that forms counts for nothing sometimes – we came into the Six Nations looking strong – so we won’t be taking anything for granted on Sunday.”
England Head Coach Gary Street has made wholesale changes for Sunday’s match. Only skipper Mclean, Rachael Burford and Emily Scarratt, who moves to fullback, start a second successive game whilst vice-captain Sarah Hunter and flanker Marlie Packer are also given the nod again.
England duo Mercedes Foy and Sasha Acheson could be set to make their Six Nations debuts as they are named on the bench. Joanne McGilchrist and Georgina Gulliver also return to international action for the first time this season.
England team v Scotland
15 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield) 14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester) 13 Amber Reed (Bristol) 12 Rachael Burford (Thurrock) 11 Claire Allan (Richmond) 10 Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) (C) 9 La Toya Mason (Wasps) 1 Claire Purdy (Wasps) 2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield) 3 Laura Keates (Worcester) 4 Rebecca Essex (Richmond) 5 Joanne McGilchrist (Wasps) 6 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens) 7 Marlie Packer (Wasps) 8 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield) (VC) Replacements: 16 Mercedes Foy (Thurrock) 17 Sophie Hemming (Bristol) 18 Sasha Acheson (Bristol) 19 Emily Braund (Lichfield) 20 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens) 21 Georgina Gulliver (Lichfield) 22 Ceri Large (Worcester) 23 Kay Wilson (Bristol)