Rugby: Seven Saracens women in England under-20 squad

Saracens fans wave flags (pic Nigel French/PA)

Saracens fans wave flags (pic Nigel French/PA) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Seven Saracens Women have been named in the England Under-20 squad for the 2017/18 season.

Head coach Jo Yapp announced a 28-strong group, which will come together for a series of camps throughout the season as they prepare to take on the Army and France in away and home fixtures in 2018.

And the squad includes Saracens Hannah Botterman, Rosie Galligan, Ellenna Perry, Helena Rowland, Emma Uren, Rowan White and Ella Wyrwas, while of the 28 players selected, 15 feature for a second season at Under-20 level with 13 new players named as part of the squad.

Nine of the 13 newly selected players; Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo Ladies), Botterman, Abigail Burton (Gloucester-Hartpury), Tabitha Copson (Gloucester-Hartpury), Amelia Harper (Loughborough Lightning), Connie Powell (Gloucester-Hartpury), Victoria Laflin (Worcester Valkyries), Pheobe Murray (Bristol Ladies) and Rowland have progressed through the player pathway from last season’s Under-18 Talent Development Group.

Yapp said: “It’s great to see so many players continuing to develop and progress through the pathway from last season’s Under-18 Talent Development Group to Under-20s level.

“The quality of rugby once again at this season’s trials was of a really high standard. We are now looking forward to bringing this new group of talented players together and continue to build and work on developing all areas of their game, both on and off the pitch.

“We have seen players move from U20s and go onto represent England at the highest level. It’s testament to the success of the pathway to see players continuing their careers in rugby and earning international honours. I have no doubt that this group of players have the promise and talent to be future Red Roses.”

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Five players from last season’s England Under-20s have progressed to represent England Women 15s and sevens respectively. These include Sarah Bern and Zoe Aldcroft, who both featured as part of England’s Rugby World Cup squad alongside Poppy Leitch, who earned international honours in 2016 and was named in 2017/18 EPS squad. Holly Aitchison and Chantelle Miell have featured regularly for England Sevens and were both awarded sevens contracts for 2017/18.

Fixtures: England U20 v Army (Feb 14); France v England U20 (Feb 24); England U20 v France (March 17).

Squad: Lucy Attwood (Bristol Ladies, Bristol University); Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough College); Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo Ladies)*; Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women)*; Brooke Bradley (Bristol Ladies, Exmouth Community College); Tazmin Bricknell (Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC, Hartpury College); Abigail Burton (Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC, Hartpury College)*; Brooke Clarke (Worcester Valkyries); Tabitha Copson (Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC, Hartpury College)*; Hollie Cunningham (Bristol, Exeter University); Rosie Galligan (Saracens, Loughborough University); Ellie Gilbert (Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC, Hartpury College); Akina Gondwe (Worcester Valkyries, Worcester University)*; Amelia Harper (Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough College)*; Victoria Laflin (Worcester Valkyries, Worcester University)*; Amelia Lavallee (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury College)*; Rianna Manson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, York St. John University)*; Ellie Mulhearn (Bristol Ladies); Phoebe Murray (Bristol Ladies)*; Ellena Perry (Saracens Women, Coventry University); Connie Powell (Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC, Hartpury College)*; Michaella Roberts (Bristol Ladies); Helena Rowland (Saracens Women)*; Lilian Stoeger-Goddard (Bristol Ladies, Plymouth Marjons University)*; Emma Uren (Saracens Women, St Mary’s University); Rowan White (Saracens Women); Charlie Wilcock (Worcester Valkyries); Ella Wyrwas (Saracens Women). *=new player to squad.