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England captain Sarah Hunter will return for the primary time in 13 months as head coach Simon Middleton makes sweeping modifications for Saturday’s Ladies’s Six Nations match in Italy.
Hunter – again in motion after a neural harm and hamstring pressure – is one in all 10 alterations to the XV that began the 52-10 win in opposition to Scotland.
Within the backs, Helena Rowland retains her place as England’s beginning 10.
England will attain the Ladies’s Six Nations closing with victory in Parma.
The competitors is being performed in a brand new format this 12 months, with two pool video games and a closing, after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This sport in Italy offers us a chance to have a look at another mixtures and we have determined to rotate the squad,” mentioned Middleton, whose facet will journey to New Zealand for the World Cup in 2022.
“We’re delighted to have Sarah Hunter again within the crew. She loves taking part in for her nation and has labored so laborious to get again taking part in. “
Hunter’s return at quantity eight means final weekend’s participant of the match Poppy Cleall is pushed to the bench.
The selection of Rowland at 10, with Zoe Harrison among the many replacements, is critical as England proceed their seek for a beginning fly-half following the retirement of Katy Daley-Mclean.
Harrison was disregarded of the matchday 23 in opposition to Scotland for a minor breach of coronavirus protocols.
Full-back Ellie Kildunne replaces Sarah McKenna to start out for the back-to-back Grand Slam champions, whereas Jess Breach strikes to the appropriate wing to exchange Lydia Thompson, who drops out of the 23 altogether.
Abby Dow returns on the left wing and Emily Scarratt, who captained the facet in opposition to Scotland in Hunter’s absence, stays at outdoors centre.
Scarratt is joined by Meg Jones at 12 as an alternative of Lagi Tuima, who doesn’t make it into the matchday squad.
Amy Cokayne begins at hooker, pushing Lark Davies to the bench, whereas Shaunagh Brown begins at tight-head prop instead of Bryony Cleall.
Zoe Aldcroft strikes from the again row to lock to exchange Abbie Ward, with Ward out of the 23, whereas Alex Matthews is available in to fill the void left at flanker.
Vicky Fleetwood replaces Marlie Packer at open-side and prop Hannah Botterman, who returns to the squad following harm, may make her first England look of the season off the bench