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RWC 2021* Squads (*rescheduled to 2022)

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Mr Bounce
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Post by Poorfour Tue 20 Sep 2022, 11:13 am

England Rugby World Cup squad

Forwards: Zoe Aldcroft, Sarah Bern, Hannah Botterman, Shaunagh Brown, Poppy Cleall, Amy Cokayne, Vickii Cornborough, Lark Davies, Rosie Galligan, Sarah Hunter, Sadia Kabeya, Laura Keates, Alex Matthews, Maud Muir, Cath O'Donnell, Marlie Packer, Connie Powell, Morwenna Talling, Abbie Ward.

Backs: Holly Aitchison, Jess Breach, Abby Dow, Zoe Harrison, Tatyana Heard, Leanne Infante, Ellie Kildunne, Claudia MacDonald, Sarah McKenna, Lucy Packer, Helena Rowland, Emily Scarratt, Lydia Thompson.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/62958278

That's a very strong squad - but what's more remarkable is the strength of the players they've left out. As Simon Middleton comments in the article "If between now and the tournament, or during the World Cup, we have to call anyone up, we can do it with 100% confidence that we are bringing a top player in."
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Post by Mr Bounce Tue 20 Sep 2022, 11:56 am

Very hard luck on Natasha Hunt - I feel she's a better scrum half than Lucy Packer who seems very quiet and lightweight by comparison, and Hunt is very much a team talisman. If you've ever seen her geeing up the crowd at games or the way she bosses the forwards and backs around, it seems more and more a strange decision.

That said, the squad is hugely talented - when you leave out the likes of Sarah Beckett, Briony Cleall, Mo Hunt, Detysha Harper, and Amber Reed, you know that the competition for places is huge. I am just glad I wasn't the one who had to tell Vicky Fleetwood - she frightens me! Laugh

Pleased to see Rosie Galligan, Sadia Kabeya, Maud Muir, Connie Powell and Tatyana Heard selected - our youngsters are coming in leaps and bounds. Helena Rowland has only just turned 23 yet is a seasoned professional already and looks to be staying there. Fantastic.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 20 Sep 2022, 12:05 pm

Ditto Hannah Botterman - also 23 but a 22 cap international. England's investment in squad depth looks to have been wise. That said, the Black Ferns will be less rusty than they were over the summr, and on home turf they should not be underestimated.

The formal player pathway for the women's game is still in its infancy but as someone whose daughter is involved in the U16s for two counties (she's eligible for both and played for one last season but is in the DPP for the other, mostly for logistical reasons), I can see how much it's improving year on year. Looking at some of the kids we've played with and against, there's some promising talent out there.
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Post by majesticimperialman Tue 20 Sep 2022, 12:23 pm

It is always hard yo understand when a player like Natasher Hunt is left out. England have so many talented players it must of been a nightmare.

I am pleased Shauna Brown as been selected. I look forward to watching the World cup.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 20 Sep 2022, 12:57 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:It is always hard yo understand when a player like Natasher Hunt is left out. England have so many talented players it must of been a nightmare.

I am pleased Shauna Brown as been selected. I look forward to watching the World cup.

Who and who?

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Post by Poorfour Wed 21 Sep 2022, 11:28 am

Match schedules are now up on the RWC 2021 site (sorry, can't get a sensible link as at work).

Some early starts in prospect... tricky one to watch out for is the QFs, which will be decided based on performance in the group rather than the "Winner of A vs Runner up of B" style used for the men's comp. So it won't be clear who will get which QF until most of the matches are completed.
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Post by bsando Tue 04 Oct 2022, 12:29 pm

Scotland vs Wales on Sunday morning will be first women’s match I’ve got up early to watch. As aus and nz in their pool I can’t see either making the QFs so this is for pride and the opportunity to be in the points for a very slim shot of pushing for thé QFs. Interested to see what crowds will be like.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 04 Oct 2022, 3:31 pm

ITV have a two part documentary "To Wear The Rose" that's covering England's preparation for the tournament. It's the usual string of interviews and vignettes of life outside rugby, but it's also got some interesting detail - eg Abby Dow's recovery from her horrendous 6N injury.
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Post by mountain man Tue 04 Oct 2022, 3:38 pm

Poorfour wrote:ITV have a two part documentary "To Wear The Rose" that's covering England's preparation for the tournament. It's the usual string of interviews and vignettes of life outside rugby, but it's also got some interesting detail - eg Abby Dow's recovery from her horrendous 6N injury.

As it happens I missed that last night so plan on watching first part shortly.
I just hope pressure as favourites doesn't get to them, no doubt France and NZ be trying even harder than usual to beat England. First match v Fiji Saturday, nice early start though 04:45 BST.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 04 Oct 2022, 5:54 pm

The key question for me is that we know NZ were below par and rusty from lack of game time the last time the teams met - but how much will they have improved with more games and the leadership of Wayne Smith?

I think England will probably have enough to beat France in the pool stages, so a lot may depend on how the knockout draw works out. England will probably be hoping that NZ and France end up on the same side of the draw and have to face each other in the semi final.

All of which said, I was at the 2017 Final and England put in an excellent first 40 without it ever feeling like they were far enough ahead to feel safe. The better fitness and stronger bench from the Ferns told in the second half.

What's changed since then is that England have developed exceptional strength in depth. They're now close to the point where they can put out two completely different XVs (and very close to two completely different XXIIIs) with no real drop in quality. They pretty much did that in the last 6N, and their long winning run has included long periods without players of the quality of Scarratt, Bern, Dow and Breach. it makes them a very different prospect over 80 minutes and much better able to cope with a loss of form or fitness.
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