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Helena Rowland returns for Lightning’s clash with Saracens

Helena Rowland returns for Loughborough Lightning for their final game of the Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby season this weekend against Saracens. 

The England international has been out of action since suffering a hand injury during the Guinness Women’s Six Nations opening round victory over Italy in late March, but has recovered for Sunday’s fixture at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens (kick-off: 3pm) - tickets are still available priced from £7.50* for adults and £3* for juniors by clicking HERE.

Rowland starts at fly-half in a move that sees Helen Nelson switch to inside centre alongside Emily Scarratt, who makes her 40th Lightning appearance.

Bulou Mataitoga comes onto the right wing, with Bo Westcome-Evans remaining in the number 11 shirt. Chloe Rollie is at fullback and Megan Davey makes her 80th appearance for the Club at scrum-half.

There’s a couple of changes to in the pack as Isla Curphey is rewarded for her recent impactful performances from the bench with a starting front-row role alongside hooker Kathryn Treder and tighthead prop Laura Keates - who scored all three of Lightning’s tries between them last time out against Trailfinders. 

Abby Duguid comes into the second row with Cath O’Donnell rotated to the replacements, and is partnered at lock by Lilli Ives Campion as she moves to within 10 outings of a half century for the African Violets. 

Rachel Malcolm, Sadia Kabeya and Daisy Hibbert-Jones extend their starting back-row partnership to 13 consecutive league matches.

Scrum-half Jenny Maxwell is in-line to make her farewell appearance for Lightning after being named in an Allianz PWR squad for the first time in more than two years. The Scotland international was named among six players who are leaving the club at the end of the season, alongside Katie Trevarthen, Sally Williams, Jess Weaver, Carys Williams-Morris and Emma Hardy.

Tighthead prop Tiwaah Adjei-Ansere could make her Allianz PWR debut from the bench, which also includes versatile back Lia Green, hooker Maja Meuller, prop Amelia Williams and lock/back row Hallie Taufoou once more while Ellen Scantlebury returns to the matchday squad after two weeks out of action.

Sunday’s match will be followed by an on-field presentation to departing players, as well as the winners being announced for the Saints Supporters Club’s Lightning Player of the Season award, and the Lightning Supporters’ Player of the Year Award - which can be voted for by clicking HERE.

Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby, Round 18
Sunday 2 June, 2024
cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens
Kick-off: 3.00pm

15 Chloe Rollie
14 Bulou Mataitoga
13 Emily Scarratt
12 Helen Nelson
11 Bo Westcombe-Evans
10 Helena Rowland
9 Meg Davey

1 Isla Curphey
2 Kathryn Treder
3 Laura Keates
4 Lilli Ives Campion
5 Abby Duguid
6 Rachel Malcolm (c)
7 Sadia Kabeya
8 Daisy Hibbert-Jones (vc)

16 Maja Meuller
17 Amelia Williams
18 Tiwaah Adjei-Ansere
19 Cath O'Donnell
20 Hallie Taufoou
21 Jenny Maxwell
22 Lia Green
23 Ellen Scantlebury

*Tickets are subject to a £1.50 booking fee.

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