Middleton eyes World Cup
England women’s head coach Simon Middleton sees this evening’s first Quilter International against the United States as the beginning of the Red Roses’s journey to reclaim the World Cup in 2021.
While fly-half Katy Daleymclean, who captained England to the 2014 World Cup, will join the England centurions club, the rest of the squad has a new look to it, with usual captain Sarah Hunter on the bench and another centre, Rachael Burford, omitted from the matchday squad.
Both starting centres, Loughborough Lightning’s Carys Williams and Tatyana Heard of Gloucesterhartpury, will make their senior England debuts.
Waterloo’s Sarah Beckett, who is in at No8 in place of Hunter, is also uncapped, as is Saracens’ teenage loosehead Ellena Perry.
Middleton has made the squad selection focused on the next World Cup, which will be held in either Australia or New Zealand, with World Rugby announcing the host on Nov 20. The coach has likened his squad’s state of flux to what happened to the men after the 2003 World Cup. “This is the start of the World Cup campaign, we had a squad that was similar to men’s 2003 squad, which has run its course, it has been an unbelievable squad for England with some amazing players,” he said.
“We want to win every game we go into but we are at a stage now where we want to find out about players, so we are not going to find out about players when they are sat on the touchline.”