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Three Lightning players in Red Roses squad to play Italy

Three Loughborough Lightning players have been selected in England’s matchday squad for their Guinness Women’s Six Nations opener against Italy this weekend.

Helena Rowland, Sadia Kabeya and Emily Scarratt have all been included in the starting line-up for the showdown at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma on Sunday (kick-off: 3pm).

Scarratt earns her 109th cap almost 500 days after her last appearance in an England shirt, which was the Rugby World Cup final in November 2022. The 34-year-old is partnered in midfield by her club-mate Helena Rowand, who moves to 29 Red Roses appearances.

Kabeya missed out on last Autumn’s WXV tournament due to injury but has been restored to the starting line-up, where she packs down at blindside flanker for her 14th cap.

England are captained by Marlie Packer on the occasion of her 100th international appearance.

“We are excited to get going in what is an awesome tournament,” said Head Coach John Mitchell.
 
“We are focused on improving our performance. We want to get quicker at our game, we want to create more pressure on the opposition, and we want to present attacking opportunities. Italy is our first opportunity to put into practice what we are aiming to achieve.”

RED ROSES TEAM TO PLAY ITALY
Sunday March 24, 2024
Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma
Kick-off: 3pm

15 Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins, 38 caps)
14 Abby Dow (Trailfinders Women, 40 caps)
13 Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning, 28 caps)
12 Emily Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning, 108 caps)

11 Jess Breach (Saracens, 33 caps)
10 Zoe Harrison (Saracens, 46 caps)
9 Lucy Packer (Harlequins, 16 caps)

1 Hannah Botterman (Bristol Bears, 42 caps)
2 Lark Atkin-Davies (Bristol Bears, 54 caps)
3 Kelsey Clifford (Saracens, 3 caps)
4 Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury, 48 caps)
5 Abbie Ward (Bristol Bears, 61 caps)
6 Sadia Kabeya (Loughborough Lightning, 13 caps)
7 Marlie Packer (Saracens, 99 caps)
8 Sarah Beckett (Gloucester-Hartpury, 34 caps)

Replacements
 
16 Connie Powell (Harlequins, 14 caps)
17 Mackenzie Carson (Gloucester-Hartpury, 10 caps)
18 Maud Muir (Gloucester-Hartpury, 25 caps)
19 Maddie Feaunati (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
20 Alex Matthews (Gloucester-Hartpury, 62 caps)
21 Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury, 67 caps)
22 Holly Aitchison (Bristol Bears, 25 caps)
23 Megan Jones (Leicester Tigers, 16 caps)

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