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Red Roses leaning on Jamie George during Guinness Women’s Six Nations

By PA
Jamie George - PA

Jamie George has been enlisted to help preparations for England’s Guinness Women’s Six Nations clash with Wales after volunteering his services to head coach John Mitchell.

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Fresh from leading the England men’s team in an encouraging Championship, George worked with Red Roses hookers Lark Atkin-Davies, Connie Powell, Amy Cokayne and May Campbell at their Surrey training base on Wednesday.

Mitchell struck up a close relationship with the 90-cap Saracens star during his time as Eddie Jones’ assistant and the Kiwi hopes it will be the start of greater knowledge sharing between the senior teams.

“I worked with Jamie before and this wasn’t forced or coerced by me. I’ve kept in touch since my departure as a coach and wished him well for the Six Nations,” Mitchell said.

“When I got this role he said if you ever any help just sing out. He was the one who actually encouraged it for this situation. We’ve made it work and I think the girls have enjoyed it.”

England captain Marlie Packer knows George from Saracens, who she has represented since 2017, and sees the benefit of skills swapping with members of Steve Borthwick’s squad.

“The girls really enjoyed it. We don’t want to force it because the men have their own programmes, the same as us, so the timing needs to be right for both,” Packer said.

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“We also have that club connection as well, Jamie has been doing some work with me at Saracens. It’s not just about the red roses, I know Bristol Bears do a lot with their men.”

Mitchell has rotated his squad for Saturday’s clash with Wales at Ashton Gate by making seven changes following the 48-0 thumping of Italy in round one.

Centres Tatyana Heard and Megan Jones, half-backs Natasha Hunt and Holly Aitchison, prop Maud Muir, lock Rosie Galligan and number eight Alex Matthews are the new faces.

Back row Sarah Beckett is unavailable until the final match of the tournament against France after receiving a three-match ban for a dangerous clear out against Italy, but Mitchell confirmed she will come into consideration for that game.

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Second row Zoe Aldcroft will win her 50th cap after being one of the eight players retained in the starting XV.

“Zoe is a massive competitor. She’s like a little springer spaniel in training! When she speaks, the girls listen,” Packer said.

“Everyone knows she’s world class in everything she does and how she goes about her business.”

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Brian 115 days ago

Don’t see why Harrison makes the bench. Jones can play at 10 if needed, and there is a good case for starting her there to begin with if testing combinations. That would leave room for Sing on the bench

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Tim 4 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

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