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Lightning make two changes for Sharks clash at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens

Loughborough Lightning have made two changes to their starting line-up for this weekend’s match with Sale Sharks at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

Lucy Weaver will make her first Lightning appearance in nearly a year at scrum-half on Sunday (kick-off: 3pm) and Canada international Abby Duguid makes her third Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby start of the season in the second row.

The return of 19-year-old Weaver, following some impressive form for Loughborough’s BUCS side, sees Megan Davey – who has started all 10 of Lightning’s league games this season in the number nine shirt – rotated to the replacements along with second row Lilli Ives Campion.

Emily Scarratt, fresh from her first match in 411 days against Bristol Bears in Round 12,  retains her place at inside centre to run out at the Gardens for the first time since January 2023.

The 108-times capped England international lines up outside fellow Red Roses star Helena Rowland, who made an incredible 154 metres with ball in hand in the Bristol loss.

Captain Rachel Malcolm, Christine Belisle and Helen Nelson have all returned from Scotland’s midweek training camp to remain in the run-out side while Chloe Rollie and Emma Wassell miss out once more due to injuries.

Fresh from being named in the PWR team of the week after marking her first start of the season with a try at Ashton Gate, USA Eagles international Hallie Taufoou keeps her place in the second row while Ellen Scantlebury, who made her full PWR debut in the 33-17 defeat, is also retained on the right wing.

Smith said: “If we play as well as we did against Bristol but we sort our set-piece out against Sale Sharks, then we will have a really good opportunity to put a performance together that we’re really proud of, but also if we are doing that then we are going to put ourselves in a great position to win the game.

“However, we know that Sale have come off the back of two really competitive games against Gloucester so we know we’ve got our work cut out against a very physical Sale side.”

Lightning’s match with Sale Sharks is the final of four matches this weekend that are being screened live on TNT Sports or streamed live online as part of the Super PWR weekend.

“I think the whole concept of the weekend is brilliant. It is deserved, it is not crow-barred in. The product you’re going to see over the weekend, people are going to want to watch and come back and watch.”

Nathan Smith, Loughborough Lightning head coach

“It is a great platform and it’s certainly what we want more and more of to show and demonstrate how good the game is at the moment.”

LOUGHBOROUGH LIGHTNING vs SALE SHARKS
Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby, Round 13
Sunday 3 March
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

15 Helen Nelson
14 Ellen Scantlebury
13 Bulou Mataitoga
12 Emily Scarratt
11 Bo Westcombe-Evans
10 Helena Rowland
9 Lucy Weaver

1 Katie Trevarthen
2 Kathryn Treder
3 Christine Belisle
4 Abby Duguid
5 Hallie Taufoou
6 Rachel Malcolm (c)
7 Sadia Kabeya
8 Daisy Hibbert-Jones

Replacements:
16 Maja Meuller
17 Amelia Williams
18 Catherine Wells
19 Lilli Ives Campion
20 Sara Svoboda
21 Megan Davey
22 Carmela Morrall
23 Carys Williams-Morris

Tickets are available for the match priced from £7.50 for adults* and £3 for children* by clicking HERE.

Next Home Match

loul
07
Days
12
Hours
57
Mins
sale-women
Saturday 27 April - 2:30pm

*All tickets purchased are subject to a £1.50 booking fee.

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