Former Welwyn youngsters to link up again with England in first autumn international with France

PUBLISHED: 13:46 12 November 2020 | UPDATED: 13:46 12 November 2020

Zoe Harrison will make her 26th appearance for England in the match with France. Picture: PAUL HARDING/PA

Zoe Harrison will make her 26th appearance for England in the match with France. Picture: PAUL HARDING/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Two former Welwyn juniors will form the main attacking pivot for England when they take on France in the first of two autumn internationals.

Helena Rowland and Zoe Harrison both graced the field at Hobbs Way rugby club at the beginning of their careers and the pair will form the 10-12 axis for the Red Roses in Grenoble on Saturday.

Another former Welwyn junior, Hannah Botterman, is ruled out with injury as is captain Sarah Hunter, Emily Scarratt continuing to lead the side.

Head coach Simon Middleton said: “We’re really looking forward to heading out to France for what will be another competitive game.

“We see this fixture as a big opportunity for some of our younger players to play away in France, which is always one of our toughest games.

“Given our two 2021 Six Nations games against France and Italy are both at home, this is a big opportunity to compete against top quality opposition away from home ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“Helena Rowland has really impressed since her return to [15-a-side rugby] with Loughborough and deserves her chance. We’re really looking forward to seeing her link up with Zoe Harrison.

“We know what Katy Daley-Mclean can do on the big stage and the presence she brings and see this game as an opportunity for others.

“It’s been great to have Sarah Hunter back training with us this week. We’re managing her return carefully and won’t take any risks.

“Last but certainly not least, we are really pleased our two autumn games against France will be shown on BBC Two and our aim is to put on a show for everyone supporting from home.”

England team to play France:

15. Ellie Kildunne (Wasps FC Ladies, 9 caps)

14. Jess Breach (Harlequins Women, 14 caps)

13. Emily Scarratt (C; Loughborough Lightning, 90 caps)

12. Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women, 25 caps)

11. Abby Dow (Wasps FC Ladies, 13 caps)

10. Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning, 1 cap)

9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins Women, 38 caps)

1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Women, 54 caps)

2. Amy Cokayne (Harlequins Women, 51 caps)

3. Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Women, 18 caps)

4. Abbie Ward (VC; Harlequins Women, 43 caps)

5. Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women, 41 caps)

6. Alex Matthews (Worcester Warriors, 38 caps)

7. Marlie Packer (Saracens Women, 72 caps)

8. Sarah Beckett (Harlequins Women, 18 caps)


16. Lark Davies (Loughborough Lightning, 26 caps)

17. Detysha Harper (Loughborough Lightning, 2 caps)

18. Laura Keates (Worcester Warriors, 60 caps)

19. Morwenna Talling (Loughborough Lightning, 1 cap)

20. Harriet Millar-Mills (Wasps FC Ladies, 56 caps)

21. Claudia MacDonald (Wasps FC Ladies, 10 caps)

22. Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury, 13 caps)

23. Megan Jones (Wasps FC Ladies, 9 caps)

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times