England Women announce team for Six Nations opener against France

England Women have named an experienced squad for Six Nations opener
England Women have named an experienced squad for Six Nations opener

England Women head coach Simon Middleton has named an experienced line-up for the upcoming Women's Six Nations opener against France at Twickenham on Saturday.

The two teams have played each other twice following last year's edition and it was France, who won on both occasions.

Lock Tamara Taylor will make her 99th international appearance in what will be her tenth Six Nations campaign while Amy Wilson Hardy returns to XVs side after a stint in sevens, including representing Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Middleton is upbeat about the team's chances and is confident that they can start their campaign against France on a winning note.

"With 994 international caps between them, this is a strong England squad with a wealth of experience.

"Preparation has been good, having had ten days training as a group already. We feel ready to take on France, a side we know well. The 6 Nations is an exciting and competitive tournament and we look forward to getting the campaign underway in front of a home crowd at Twickenham."

England match-day 23 against France

15 Danielle Waterman (Bristol, 64 caps), 14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries, 27 caps), 13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield, 61 caps), 12 Amber Reed (Bristol, 32 caps), 11 Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol, 3 caps), 10 Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 80 caps), 9 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield, 33 caps), 1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries, 117 caps), 2 Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, 20 caps), 3 Laura Keates (Worcester Valkyries, 56 caps), 4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 98 caps), 5 Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield, 38 caps), 6 Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol, 24 caps), 7 Marlie Packer (Bristol, 40 caps), 8 Sarah Hunter (Bristol, 85 caps) (captain).

Replacements: 16 Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens, 54 caps), 17 Justine Lucas (Lichfield, 14 caps), 18 Sarah Bern (Bristol, 4 caps), 19 Zoe Aldcroft (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 2 caps), 20 Poppy Cleall (Bristol, 7 caps), 21 La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 59 caps), 22 Emily Scott (Saracens, 16 caps), 23 Rachael Burford (Aylesford Bulls, 60 caps).