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Sixways trio earn autumn England call-ups
THREE Worcester players have been named in head coach Gary Street’s England Women’s 26-player squad for next month’s Autumn International Series against France and Canada.
Prop Rochelle Clark, fly-half Ceri Large and winger Kat Merchant will be representing the Sixways club, while their team-mates Heather Fisher and Laura Keates have not been considered due to injury.
England will play France at Twickenham on November 9 immediately after the England men’s side’s Test match against Argentina. The women also play Canada at the Twickenham Stoop on Wednesday, November 13.
Bristol’s Sasha Acheson is the only uncapped player in an experienced squad. The prop has impressed in the Premiership this season as well as through the RFU Divisional Programme.
England also welcome back Saracens flankers Maggie Alphonsi and Hannah Gallagher.
Alphonsi returns to the international fold after 20 months out injured, while Gallagher has not played since last season’s Six Nations.
Street said: “This is an exciting squad and the absolute strongest squad I had available which is so important as we focus on this World Cup season.
“We have got some good preparation time ahead of these fixtures which will stand us in good stead and I am know by the time we play France the players and management team will be eager to kick off our international season with a bang.”
Street’s side ‘nilled’ World Champions New Zealand in a series whitewash just over a year ago, but the Black Ferns reversed that result on New Zealand soil in July. England also finished third in the 2013 Six Nations.
England last played France in the 2013 Six Nations and a young, developing England side were on the wrong end of a 30-20 defeat. The loss also marked England’s first ever defeat at Twickenham.
Canada too have enjoyed good wins over England this year, defeating an experimental England side in two games in this summer’s Nations Cup in America.
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