Poppy Cleall to captain Red Roses v New Zealand
Poppy Cleall will captain the Red Roses for the first time on Sunday, as England Women head coach Simon Middleton has named his team to play New Zealand at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on Sunday.
There are six Saracens in the match day squad for the second of back-to-back clashes between the first and second ranked sides in the world.
Marlie Packer and Poppy Cleall both start up front, with Zoe Harrison and Holly Aitchison in the back-line and Hannah Botterman and Sarah McKenna on the bench.
Middleton said: “We were absolutely delighted with the performance and the result last week. We were really proud of the players and it was a privilege to be part of such a special occasion at Sandy Park.
“Developing leadership across the squad is really important and we’ve named Poppy as captain and Leanne as vice-captain for this game. With less than a year to go until the World Cup, it’s important our leadership group is broad and we see both of them as falling into this category.
“We’ve made a number of changes to the starting XV as it’s important the broader squad are exposed to rugby at the very highest level."
England Women team to play New Zealand:
15 Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins, 16 caps)
14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester Warriors, 48 caps)
13 Holly Aitchison (Saracens, 1 cap)
12 Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning, 7 caps)
11 Abby Dow (Wasps, 19 caps)
10 Zoe Harrison (Saracens, 31 caps)
9 Leanne Infante (VC; Bristol Bears, 45 caps)
1 Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins, 61 caps)
2 Amy Cokayne (Harlequins, 58 caps)
3 Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears, 37 caps)
4 Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury, 25 caps)
5 Abbie Ward (Bristol Bears, 48 caps)
6 Alex Matthews (Worcester Warriors, 42 caps)
7 Marlie Packer (Saracens, 77 caps)
8 Poppy Cleall (C; Saracens, 48 caps)
16 Lark Davies (Loughborough Lightning, 32 caps)
17 Hannah Botterman (Saracens, 23 caps)
18 Maud Muir (Wasps, 1 cap)
19 Harriet Millar-Mills (Wasps, 63 caps)
20 Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning, 127 caps)
21 Claudia MacDonald (Wasps, 16 caps)
22 Lagi Tuima (Harlequins, 9 caps)
23 Sarah McKenna (Saracens, 37 caps)