TEAM NEWS | Harlequins vs Saracens Women (AP15S – RD3)
Louise McMillan highlighted that her side were still looking for improvements this weekend, despite starting the league season with back-to-back victories.
A week on from a home London Derby against Wasps, Saracens Women are on the road for the first time in the league this season. London is certainly calling in these opening rounds, with Harlequins the hosts on Saturday.
Reflecting on the victory over Wasps, McMillan accepted that whilst there were positives to take, there was plenty to work on heading into Saturday’s clash.
“It was only the second game of the season, so we can’t be too harsh on ourselves. It was definitely an improvement from Loughborough but there is a lot more to go.”
The last time Saracens and Harlequins met was the semi-final last season, where Saracens ended Quins’ reign as champions, before securing the title themselves at Sixways.
It has admittedly been a somewhat scrappy start to the season for Alex Austerberry’s side, but two bonus points wins see his side sit top of the table, heading into this weekend.
The pressure will certainly be on though, with Harlequins feeling that they have a point to prove against Saracens, and also at home, having suffered defeat to Worcester Warriors in the opening round of the season.
Ahead of this one, Austerberry has made six to the side that faced Wasps, with the main headline being the return of Canadian international Alex Ellis in the front row after returning from World Cup action in New Zealand.
She is joined in the front row by Kelsey Clifford and the league’s top try scorer May Campbell, whilst McMillan starts in the second row alongside Sophie Tansley.
Georgia Evans moves from number 8 to blindside flanker, with Grace Moore returning to the starting XV.
In the backs, the halfback pairing of Ella Wyrwas and Flo Williams remains unchanged, as does the centre pairing of Cara Wardle and Hannah Casey.
There are two changes on the wing for Saracens, with Lotte Clapp returning to captain the side and Sydney Gregson making her comeback, following an injury sustained against Bristol Bears in the Allianz Cup.
Amongst the replacements, Coreen Grant returns to the side, having missed the match against Wasps, whilst Catha Jacobs could make her first appearance for Saracens since returning from the Rugby World Cup.
Whilst Saracens’ English contingent may not be quite ready for action yet, there has been an added buzz in the camp as more of the world cup stars have returned to action, with the energy throughout the side only continuing to increase.
“It seems that every player who comes back adds their own bit of energy. It’s really exciting to know the whole squad is coming back together and for me it’s lovely to meet them and pick up on some of their international experience as well.”
Saracens Women’s Team vs Harlequins
- Kelsey Clifford
- May Campbell
- Alex Ellis
- Louise McMillan
- Sophie Tansley
- Georgia Evans
- Sharifa Kasolo
- Grace Moore
- Ella Wyrwas
- Flo Williams
- Lotte Clapp (Captain)
- Cara Wardle
- Hannah Casey
- Sydney Gregson
- Isla Alejandro
- Jodie Rettie
- Jodie Turl
- Jeanina Loyola
- Taryn Schutzler
- Catha Jacobs
- Kat Evans
- Katie Johnson
- Coreen Grant