Marlie Packer to lead England in the inaugural WXV tournament

Marlie Packer has played 96 Tests
Marlie Packer has played 96 Tests

Marlie Packer will be captaining the 30-player squad of England as they head to New Zealand for the inaugural WXV tournament to kick-off later this month.

Packer is currently on 96 Test caps and needs four more to reach the 100-mark milestone with Zoe Aldcroft and Helena Rowland appointed her deputies.

21 out of the 30 player squad were part of the 2021 Rugby World Cup campaign under Simon Middleton while flanker Maisy Allen and centre Sophie Bridger, who made their debut in the series against Canada are also included.

Emily Scarratt, Zoe Harrison and Poppy Cleall miss out on the selection due to injuries while Vickii Cornborough and Abbie Ward are on maternity leave.

"We have selected a squad rich in experience, versatility, and talent; a squad we are excited to see take to the field in the inaugural WXV competition," said interim head coach Louis Deacon.

"Since our first pre-season camp at the end of July, I've been extremely proud of the players' application and dedication to always put the team first.

"There has been a tremendous amount of effort put in to develop as a squad on and off the field, and they deserve huge credit for their progress to date.

"We're relishing the opportunity to go up against three of the world's best teams in Australia, Canada and New Zealand as well as experiencing three different cities in a fantastic rugby-loving nation."

England will be kick-starting their campaign in the inaugural WXV with a clash against Australia at Sky Stadium in Wellington on 20th October.

England squad:

Forwards: Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury), Maisy Allen (Exeter Chiefs), Lark Atkin-Davies (Bristol Bears), Sarah Beckett (Gloucester-Hartpury), Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears), Hannah Botterman (Bristol Bears), Mackenzie Carson (Gloucester-Hartpury), Kelsey Clifford (Saracens), Amy Cokayne (Leicester Tigers), Rosie Galligan (Saracens), Sadia Kabeya (Loughborough Lightning), Alex Matthews (Gloucester-Hartpury), Maud Muir (Gloucester-Hartpury), Cath O'Donnell (Loughborough Lightning), Marlie Packer (Saracens), Connie Powell (Harlequins), Morwenna Talling (Sale Sharks)

Backs: Holly Aitchison (Bristol Bears), Sophie Bridger (Saracens), Jess Breach (Saracens), Abby Dow (Trailfinders), Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury), Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury), Megan Jones (Leicester Tigers), Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins, 36 caps), Claudia MacDonald (Exeter Chiefs), Lucy Packer (Harlequins), Amber Reed (Bristol Bears), Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning), Ella Wyrwas (Saracens)