TEAM NEWS | Trailfinders Women vs Saracens Women (PWR - Rd 2)
Scrum-half Ella Wyrwas is looking for her side to keep building momentum, as they head into a London Derby with Trailfinders Women.
Last weekend, Saracens Women secured a thumping victory at StoneX, but they know that Trailfinders will prove to be a tougher test this weekend, after they nearly upset Harlequins Women last Saturday. Wyrwas is expecting a free-flowing encounter this weekend, as she and her side look to showcase their identity as a side.
"We’re expecting Trailfinders to play with a lot of freedom and confidence after a strong start to the season against Harlequins. It's their second game in the PWR and its sort of unknown territory for us, which is really exciting. It’s a great opportunity for us to focus on ourselves this week and really define our identity as a team."
Off the back of last weekend's victory, Wyrwas admitted that there was a real confidence amongst the group.
"There’s a really positive buzz this week, with the full squad having been together for over a week now. The first game of the season is always a bit experimental, with new faces coming in, but we started with a bang which gives us great confidence moving into round two. We showed some real snippets of what we’re about last week. If we can tidy up our discipline and get those last passes to stick, we should be in a great position!"
A week on from a huge opening day victory over Loughborough Lightning, Director of Rugby Alex Austerberry has made several changes to the side.
Up front, Akina Gondwe continues at loosehead prop, alongside May Campbell and Kelsey Clifford.
In the second-row, Georgia Evans is joined by Rosie Galligan, who makes her first start since re-joining the club in the summer.
The back-row sees Marlie Packer captain the side, as she is joined by Sophie de Goede and Poppy Cleall in an all-international unit.
It's all change at half-back, with Wyrwas and Zoe Harrison both pulling the strings, having made big impressions off the bench last weekend.
The centre pairing remains the same, with Sophie Bridger and Sydney Gregson continuing their partnership from last weekend, with the other changes to the backline seeing Paige Farries comes in for her Saracens debut in place of Lotte Clapp and Isla Alejandro come in for Coreen Grant on the right wing.
Amongst the replacements, young prop Chloe Flanagan comes into a Saracens league 23 for the first time, with Grace Moore also set for her first league appearance of the season.
Emma Taylor, Leanne Infante and Amelia MacDougall will all be looking to make an impression too, as they prepare to make an impact off the bench this weekend.
For Wyrwas, this will be her first start since returning from WXV and the scrum-half is eager to put what she learnt in England colours into her performances at Saracens.
"It was an unbelievable experience being involved with WXV, and a real learning curve for me getting some more international minutes under my belt. I’m hoping to take everything I’ve learnt over the international period and really start to apply it to my game at club."
Saracens Women's Team vs Trailfinders Women:
1. Akina Gondwe
2. May Campbell
3. Kelsey Clifford
4. Georgia Evans
5. Rosie Galligan
6. Sophie de Goede
7. Marlie Packer (Captain)
8. Poppy Cleall
9. Ella Wyrwas
10. Zoe Harrison
11. Paige Farries
12. Sophie Bridger
13. Sydney Gregson
14. Isla Alejandro
15. Jess Breach
16. Bryony Field
17. Chloe Flanagan
18. Donna Rose
19. Emma Taylor
20. Grace Moore
21. Leanne Infante
22. Amelia MacDougall
23. Cara Wardle