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11 Lightning stars in action as England face Scotland

An incredible 11 players from Loughborough Lightning’s squad will be in action as England and Scotland get their Women’s Six Nations campaign underway on Saturday.

The Red Roses travel to DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh to face their north-of-the-border rivals, with the clash live on BBC Two and kicking off at noon.

Lightning supporters will be watching with keen interest, with four Loughborough players in England’s XV and another seven starting for Scotland.

Saints’ Women’s Rugby Ambassadors, Sarah Hunter and Emily Scarratt, both start for Simon Middleton’s England side at No.8 and outside centre – with the duo named captain and vice-captain respectively.

Helena Rowland is entrusted with the No.10 jersey for the visitors, while there is also room at hooker for Lark Davies.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s line-up sees Lightning players Jenny Maxwell, Helen Nelson and Megan Gaffney named in the back-line – with Leah Bartlett, Christine Belisle, and Emma Wassell selected in the pack, and Rachel Malcolm skippering Bryan Easson’s side.

“We are looking for a concerted effort of consistency in our performance this weekend and making sure we play for the full 80 minutes,” Easson said.

“We are aware of the challenge that England will pose on Saturday so it’s hugely important we stick to our systems and processes, while also keeping good discipline throughout the match.”

Middleton added: “We have great strength-in-depth, the whole squad have trained well and it’s important we give players opportunities and at the same time look at a couple of new combinations. 

“We go into this year’s Six Nations with some clear objectives in terms of the improvements we are looking for in our performances. The players are crystal clear in terms of how we want to play and what we want our game to look like.

“What we now need to find out is which players can put the best version of our game on the field come the big occasion. Playing Scotland in Scotland is one such occasion, we’re excited to take to the field this Saturday.”

Scotland team to play England

15 Chloe Rollie (Exeter Chiefs, 45 caps)
14 Rhona Lloyd (Les Lioness du Stade Bordelaise, 33 caps)
13 Hannah Smith (Watsonians, 30 caps)
12 Lisa Thomson (Sale Sharks, 40 caps)
11 Megan Gaffney (Loughborough Lightning, 39 caps)
10 Helen Nelson (VC; Loughborough Lightning, 37 caps)
9 Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning, 36 caps)

1 Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning, 12 caps)
2 Lana Skeldon (Worcester Warriors, 48 caps)
3 Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning, 12 caps)
4 Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning, 52 caps)

5 Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill, 31 caps)
6 Rachel Malcolm (C; Loughborough Lightning, 24 caps)
7 Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks, 24 caps)
8 Jade Konkel (Harlequins, 49 caps)

Replacements:
16 Molly Wright (Sale Sharks, 10 caps)
17 Lisa Cockburn (Worcester Warriors, 23 caps)
18 Katie Dougan (Gloucester Hartpury, 15 caps)
19 Lyndsay O’Donnell (Worcester Warriors, 15 caps)
20 Eva Donaldson (Edinburgh University, 1 cap)
21 Sarah Law (Sale Sharks, 48 caps)
22 Meryl Smith (Edinburgh University, uncapped)
23 Shona Campbell (Edinburgh University, 2 caps)

England team to play Scotland

15 Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins, 18 caps)
14 Heather Cowell (Harlequins, 2 caps)
13 Emily Scarratt (VC; Loughborough Lightning, 96 caps)
12 Holly Aitchison (Saracens, 4 caps)
11 Abby Dow (Wasps, 22 caps)
10 Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning, 10 caps)
9 Leanne Infante (Bristol Bears, 48 caps)

1 Maud Muir (Wasps, 4 caps)
2 Lark Davies (Loughborough Lightning, 35 caps)
3 Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears, 40 caps)
4 Rosie Galligan (Harlequins, 1 cap)
5 Abbie Ward (Bristol Bears, 50 caps)
6 Poppy Cleall (Saracens, 50 caps)
7 Marlie Packer (Saracens, 79 caps)
8 Sarah Hunter (C; Loughborough Lightning, 130 caps)

Replacements:
16 Connie Powell (Gloucester-Hartpury, 1 cap)
17 Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins, 64 caps)
18 Bryony Cleall (Wasps, 5 caps)
19 Sarah Beckett (Harlequins, 22 caps)
20 Alex Matthews (Worcester Warriors, 45 caps)
21 Lucy Packer (Harlequins, 1 cap)
22 Amber Reed (Bristol Bears, 58 caps)
23 Emma Sing (Gloucester-Hartpury, uncapped)

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