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England name team for Ireland in Cork with key players back from injury

By Lucy Lomax
Gabby Cantorna of United States challenges Natasha Hunt of England as they break free to score their side's first try during the Women's International rugby match between England Red Roses and United States at Sandy Park on September 03, 2022 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

England head coach Simon Middleton has named his 23-player Red Roses squad to take on Ireland at Musgrave Park, Cork, in Round 4 of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations.


Natasha Hunt makes her first appearance of the tournament at scrum half with Morwenna Talling and Helena Rowland also returning from injury and set to feature for the first time in this year’s Championship off the bench.

Marlie Packer captains the side at open-side flanker while Sadia Kabeya is blind-side flanker and Alex Matthews at number eight.

In-form fly-half Holly Aitchison continues her 10-12 partnership with Tatyana Heard, who earned player of the match against Wales, with Lagi Tuima continuing at outside centre.

Gloucester-Hartpury duo Zoe Aldcroft and Sarah Beckett are the second row combination.

Connie Powell makes her maiden 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations appearance at hooker with Hannah Botterman and Maud Muir her front row counterparts. Powell replaces May Campbell, who made her international debut last week, dropping out of the match day squad entirely.

Ellie Kildunne is at full-back with Abby Dow and Claudia MacDonald forming a frightening back three.


England team to play Ireland

15. Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins, 32 caps)
14. Abby Dow (Harlequins, 33 caps)
13. Lagi Tuima (Harlequins, 15 caps)
12. Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury, 12 caps)
11. Claudia MacDonald (Exeter Chiefs, 26 caps)
10. Holly Aitchison (Saracens, 18 caps)
9. Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury, 60 caps)

1. Hannah Botterman (Saracens, 35 caps)
2. Connie Powell (Gloucester-Hartpury, 7 caps)
3. Maud Muir (Gloucester-Hartpury, 18 caps)
4. Zoe Aldcroft (VC; Gloucester Hartpury, 41 caps)
5. Sarah Beckett (Gloucester-Hartpury, 28 caps)
6. Sadia Kabeya (Loughborough Lightning, 11 caps)
7. Marlie Packer (C; Saracens, 92 caps)
8. Alex Matthews (Gloucester-Hartpury, 57 caps)

16. Lark Davies (Bristol Bears, 47 caps)
17. Mackenzie Carson (Saracens, 3 caps)
18. Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears, 55 caps)
19. Delaney Burns (Bristol Bears, 1 cap)
20. Morwenna Talling (Loughborough Lightning, 5 caps)
21. Lucy Packer (Harlequins, 12 caps)
22. Amber Reed (Bristol Bears, 63 caps)
23. Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning, 22 caps)


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