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Women’s Rugby

Lightning side named for return to the Gardens

Loughborough Lightning make their return to cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday afternoon (kick-off: 3pm), with Director of Rugby Rhys Edwards today naming his side for the Allianz Premier 15s clash.

Saints’ women’s team were unbeaten in both of their home matches on the hallowed Gardens turf last season, beating Exeter Chiefs in February and then Sunday’s opponents in the final round of the season.

Lightning are back for the first of five matches so far to be scheduled in Northampton for this campaign, and will be looking for a first win of the new term having gone down away at defending champions Saracens last weekend.

Edwards makes four changes to Loughborough’s starting XV from that outing, with wing Lucia Linn promoted from the bench to a starting berth, and England U18 international Molly Luthayi selected in the centres.

Lightning’s pack is largely unchanged but there is a return in the back row for Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm for the first time this season following the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup, while Sally Williams is preferred in No.7 jersey.

Meanwhile amongst the replacements, more Scotland internationals return with props Christine Belisle and Leah Bartlett, plus versatile back Helen Nelson, all hoping to make an impact off the bench.

“Whenever you play Harlequins, you know you’re going to have a high tempo and high skill game,” Edwards said.

“This is a great opportunity for us to get back on the horse after an opening day defeat, and make sure we are more accurate and clinical in our performance.

“Last week we weren’t at the level we wanted to be defensively, so it’s really important that we set a physical tone and go from there.

“It’s really exciting for us to go back to Franklin’s Gardens; the ground was a bit of a fortress for us last year, it’s a fantastic pitch and the support we have in Northampton is amazing – so we’re ready to go and put on a show.”

Rhys Edwards, Director of Rugby at Loughborough Lightning

Tickets for the clash are on sale now from just £7 adult / £3 junior*, with a five-match bundle including access to all Loughborough’s regular home games at the Gardens this season also available from £28 adult / £12 junior*. 

Allianz Premier 15s, Round 2
Sunday 27 November 2022
cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 3pm

15 Georgie Lingham
14 Lauren Bolger
13 Georgina Tasker
12 Molly Luthayi
11 Lucia Linn
10 Megan Davey
9 Jess Weaver

1 Katie Trevarthen
2 Bryony Field
3 Detysha Harper
4 Lilli Ives Campion
5 Georgia Bradley
6 Rachel Malcolm (c)
7 Sally Williams
8 Daisy Hibbert Jones

16 Kendall Waudby
17 Leah Bartlett
18 Christine Belisle
19 Grace Clifford
20 Maja Meuller 
21 Helen Nelson
22 Carmella Morell
23 Sarah Smart

* All ticket prices are subject to a £1.50 booking fee.

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