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One change for Lightning ahead of Sharks clash

Rhys Edwards makes just one change to his Lougborough Lightning side ahead of their clash with Darlington Mowden Park Sharks this weekend, with Scotland international Leah Bartlett coming into the starting line-up. 

Loughborough were defeated on Northampton soil last time out 40-26 in a clash with second-place Gloucester-Hartpury, but with only three rounds of the season remaining Lightning now travel to Darlington on Saturday.

Lightning ran out 41-7 winners when the Sharks made the return trip to Epinal Way earlier this season and Edwards’ side will need a repeat of that result this weekend if they are to climb from eighth place in the Allianz Premier 15s table before the season comes to a close.

An unchanged backline of internationals will start for Loughborough in Darlington, with Wales’ Carys Williams-Morris and the USA’s Bulou Mataitoga lining up either side of Scotland fullback Chloe Rollie. 

Emma Hardy joins Scot Helen Nelson in the centres again this week, with scrum-half Megan Davey and England’s Helena Rowland manning Lightning’s half-back berths. 

Bartlett proves the only change in Loughborough’s forward pack, joining Bryony Field and Christine Belisle in the front row; while Lilli Ives-Campion and Morwenna Talling form Lightning’s engine room second week running. 

Rachel Malcolm leads Lightning from the back row once again this weekend, joining Canada international Sara Svoboda and Sadia Kabeya – who was named the England Women’s Player of the Year at the RPA Awards – to round off the back row.

And there’s room amongst the replacements for the likes of Maja Meuller, Jess Weaver and Georgina Tasker – while Daisy Hibbert-Jones is set to make her return from injury should she enter the action from the bench. 

DARLINGTON MOWDEN PARK SHARKS vs LOUGHBOROUGH LIGHTNING
Saturday 20 May, 2023
Allianz Premier 15s
The Darlington Arena
Kick-off: 2pm

15 Chloe Rollie
14 Bulou Mataitoga
13 Emma Hardy
12 Helen Nelson
11 Carys Williams-Morris
10 Helena Rowland
9 Megan Davey

1 Leah Bartlett
2 Bryony Field
3 Christine Belisle
4 Lilli Ives-Campion
5 Morwenna Talling
6 Rachel Malcolm (c)
7 Sadia Kabeya
8 Sara Svoboda

Replacements:
16 Maja Meuller
17 Kath Baverstock
18 Grace Clifford
19 Daisy Hibbert-Jones
20 Sally Williams
21 Jess Weaver
22 Georgina Tasker
23 Georgie Lingham

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