England Women name 40-member training squad for autumn internationals

England Women head coach Simon Middleton
England Women head coach Simon Middleton

England Women head coach Simon Middleton has named a 40-member training squad ahead of the upcoming autumn internationals.

The squad consists of 11 uncapped players including Exeter duo Flo Robinson and Merryn Doidge while Sarah Bern will make her first international appearance this year after missing most of the season due to injury.

Helena Rowland and Alex Matthews are back into the XV format after representing Team GB in the Olympic games but Wasps fly-half Meg Jones has preferred to remain committed to the sevens game.

Middleton feels the upcoming series will provide an opportunity for the uncapped players to showcase their talents with the World Cup around the corner.

"We've got a host of potential debutants in the squad who are there because they impressed in the league or they've been on our radar for a while and have upped their game again this season," he said.

"That's what we wanted them to do. We wanted players to put their hand up in the league and that's why they've been selected accordingly.

"I've spoken to players about taking the opportunity that was in front of them now rather than looking forward to another World Cup.

"Sometimes opportunities present themselves but they never present themselves again so you've got to grasp them while they're in front of you."

England will be facing New Zealand in back to back matches at Sandy Park on 31st October and at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens on 7th November before locking horns with Canada and USA on 14th and 21st November respectively.

England training squad

Forwards: Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury), Sarah Beckett (Harlequins), Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears), Hannah Botterman (Saracens), Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins), Bryony Cleall (Wasps), Poppy Cleall (Saracens), Amy Cokayne (Harlequins), Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins), Lark Davies (Loughborough Lightning), Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens), Detysha Harper (Loughborough Lightning), Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning), Sadia Kabeya (Loughborough Lightning), Alex Matthews (Worcester Warriors), Harriet Millar-Mills (Wasps), Maud Muir (Wasps), Cath O'Donnell (Loughborough Lightning), Marlie Packer (Saracens), Connie Powell (Gloucester-Hartpury), Emily Robinson (Harlequins), Abbie Ward (Bristol Bears)

Backs: Holly Aitchison (Saracens), Jess Breach (Harlequins), Heather Cowell (Harlequins), Merryn Doidge (Exeter Chiefs), Abby Dow (Wasps), Zoe Harrison (Saracens), Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins), Claudia MacDonald (Wasps), Sarah McKenna (Saracens), Lucy Packer (Harlequins), Amber Reed (Bristol Bears), Leanne Riley (Bristol Bears), Flo Robinson (Exeter Chiefs), Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning), Emma Sing (Gloucester-Hartpury), Lydia Thompson (Worcester Warriors), Lagi Tuima (Harlequins), Ella Wyrwas (Saracens).