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Six Lightning players named in England Women’s Pathway U20 Training Squad

Six Loughborough Lightning players have been selected for England U20 Women's Pathway U20 training squad in preparation for the upcoming spring fixtures.

Lucy Calladine, Lilli Ives-Campion, Evelyn Clarke, Ellie Roberts, Catherine Wells and Amelia Williams are all included in new head coach LJ Lewis’s first squad and fellow Lightning player Lia Green has been offered a trial opportunity.

In conjunction with newly-appointed U20 Women assistant coach and current Saracens player Sarah McKenna, Lewis has selected nine previously-capped players at U20 level in a 30-player training squad for the side’s camps at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre. 

The 2024 squad composition consists of players from eight Premiership Women’s Rugby clubs, as well as representatives from Worcester RFC, Henley Hawks Women and Exeter University. 

15 of the U20 squad members have made appearances in the top-flight Premiership Women’s Rugby division so far this term to further complement with the previous pathway experience within the ranks. 

The cohort will further benefit from the knowledge of former Premier 15s and Six Nations Grand Slam champion Sarah McKenna, who joins the set-up for the 2023/24 season.  

“I’m incredibly grateful to be offered to be part of this programme, the team have been very welcoming and I’ve been so impressed with the culture and work ethic,” McKenna stated. 

“LJ is a fantastic coach and working alongside her has been a pleasure, with these upcoming games we have a tangible target to reach to get some positive performances, as well as results. 

“This week at Bisham, we’ll put the team through their paces to prepare them to make a mark on this season in the best possible fashion.” 

The U20s completed regional camps in the first week of November 2023 before a National Camp meeting at the Hazelwood Centre that, alongside monitoring of domestic performances, aided in management’s determination of the current training group. 

Lewis and McKenna lead on this week’s programme at Bisham Abbey, which includes unit and skill drills, a training game as well as ‘Scrum Club’ with pathway scrum coach, Nathan Catt. 

The programme leads to a slate of spring-time fixtures where the England U20 Women encounter the Women’s Army side for their first match of the campaign on 23 March at Havant RFC, kicking-off at 17:30 GMT. 

Games against France and Wales U20 Women’s teams follow on 20 April and 4 May respectively, with host stadiums and kick-off times also to be decided in due course.  

England Women’s Pathway U20 Training Squad for 2024 

Jorja Battishill (Gloucester-Hartpury) 
Joia Bennett (Saracens) 
Reneeqa Bonner (Bristol Bears) * 
Lucy Calladine (Loughborough Lightning) 
Evelyn Clarke (Loughborough Lightning) 
Ella Cromack (Harlequins) 
Millie David (Bristol Bears) 
Steph Else (Gloucester-Hartpury) * 
Daisy Fitzgerald (Saracens) 
Chloe Flanagan (Saracens) 
Sophie Hopkins (Sale Sharks) 
Millie Hyett (Gloucester-Hartpury) 
Lilli Ives-Campion (Loughborough Lightning) ** 
Sophie Langford (Exeter Chiefs) * 
Amelia Macdougall (Saracens) 
Annabel Meta (Trailfinders Women) 
Sophie Molton (Trailfinders Women) 
Anna Richardson (Exeter University) 
Ellie Roberts (Loughborough Lightning) 
Hannah Sams (Exeter Chiefs) 
Tori Sellors (Saracens) * 
Samantha Shiels (Trailfinders Women) 
Katie Shillaker (Harlequins) 
Niamh Swailes (Sale Sharks) * 
Catherine Wells (Loughborough Lightning) * 
Lola Whitley (Gloucester-Hartpury) *  
Alex Wilkinson (Henley Hawks) 
Niamh Williams (Sale Sharks) * 
Amelia Williams (Loughborough Lightning) 
Eva Wood (Sale Sharks) 

Training invite for February camp 
Leah Brough (Worcester RFC) 
Josie Plant (Exeter Chiefs) 

Trial opportunity 
Lia Green (Loughborough Lightning) 

Unavailable for selection due to rehabilitation/injury 
Grace Clifford (Loughborough Lightning) ** 
Molly Luthayi (Loughborough Lightning) 
Becky Boyd (Loughborough Lightning) 

Sophie McQueen (Gloucester-Hartpury) 
Carmela Morrall (Loughborough Lightning) 
Tyla Shirley (Harlequins) 

 *denotes a player previously capped at U20 level 
**denotes a contracted Red Roses transitional player 

England U20 Women’s spring 2024 fixtures 
England U20 Women vs. Army – 23 March 2024 (Havant RFC, 17:30 GMT kick-off) 
France U20 Women vs. England U20 Women – 20 April 2024 (venue and kick-off time TBC) 
England U20 Women vs. Wales U20 Women – 4 May 2024 (venue and kick-off time TBC) 

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