Former Welwyn player to make England bow against France

PUBLISHED: 15:55 05 November 2015 | UPDATED: 15:56 05 November 2015

Lotte Clapp in Welwyn colours in 2013

Lotte Clapp in Welwyn colours in 2013

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Saracens winger Lotte Clapp is in line to make her England Women’s rugby debut.

The ex-Welwyn Rugby Club star has been named in head coach Simon Middleton’s team for Saturday’s first autumn international against France at Le Stade Francis Turcan in Martigues, kick-off 9pm (8pm GMT) live on Sky Sports HD.

Clapp will be in his side which also includes World Cup winners Sarah Hunter, Rochelle Clarke, Ceri Large, Tamara Taylor, Laura Keates and Marlie Packer.

Middleton said: “The forwards are experienced so I’m expecting them to step-up in these autumn internationals against two sides with very good packs.

“There is definitely some pressure to perform in that area.

“France are very good at set piece.

“They have a strong line-out and driving maul, and have some strong ball carriers.

“It will be a very physical game. They have the capacity to play up front but also with a bit more width out back.

“More than anything we are concentrating on ourselves. France are very similar to us in that they have a sevens team in the Olympics so a lot of their backs will be absent which means naturally they’ll look to pressure us up front, but we want to play our game.

“One that’s between backs and forwards, dynamic in the tight and with movement and pace in the backs which should produce some attacking and running rugby.”

Following Saturday’s fixture, England will return home to face Ireland at The Stoop on Saturday, November 14, kick-off 3pm live on englandrugby.com. Tickets available at www.quins.co.uk

The team to face France is: Sarah McKenna; Katie Mason, Lauren Cattell, Ceri Large, Charlotte Clapp; Emily Scott, Leanne Riley; Rochelle Clarke, Amy Cokayne, Laura Keates, Tamara Taylor, Abbie Scott, Hannah Gallagher, Marlie Packer, Sarah Hunter (C).

Replacements: Vickii Cornborough, Emma Croker, Justine Lucas, Harriet Millar-Mills, Izzy Novel-Smith, Latoya Mason, Rachel Lund, Ruth Laybourn.


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