Mid­dle­ton eyes World Cup

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport / Rugby Union - By Kate Rowan

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.”

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