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England Red Roses

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Post by mountain man Fri 19 Jan 2024, 10:25 am

Thought I'd create thread for England women team.

One bit of (bad) news is Sarah Bern out of 6N with knee injury. Despite the strength in depth England have that is a massive blow as she is a superb player. Not only brilliant in scrum but devestating with ball in hand running through and around opposition.

England no doubt again be strong favourites again but I'm hoping other 6N teams are on up.

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 19 Jan 2024, 11:13 am

Sarah Bern is probably our best player. I think she started as a centre before converting to prop. Quite a change! It explains the sidesteps and good hands.

It's really good to see Abbie Ward back; I believe that we are well stocked at lock now (Sarah Beckett has seemingly been converted to a Paull Willemse-esque enforcer) as we've also got Rosie Galligan, not one known to take a backward step. Add in the awesome Zoe Aldcroft (currently nursing an injury I believe) and the cupboard is far from bare.

I'm not sure if Poppy Cleall has elected not to play? Seems strange that she's been left out? The back row is scarily good. Potentially the starting 3 could be Kabeya, Packer, Matthews as per the last 6 Nations, but there's so many decent back rowers in the squad that most of them are good enough to start.

Scrum half, even without Leanne Infante (who herself has recently had a baby) is looking string with Mo Hunt, Ella Wyrwas and Lucy Packer, who looks a bit like a scared schoolgirl but is apparently one of the toughest in the squad and is likely to be first choice. Appearances are definitely deceptive in her case!

We're well stocked with centres, plus the back 3 contains some of the best in the world in Mcdonald, Dow and Kildunne (who my friend and I have nicknamed "No Pass" as she often backs herself to the line).

I am going to HQ to watch them against Ireland. Looking forward to it. Grand Slam again? Quite possibly.

Mr Bounce

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Post by mountain man Fri 19 Jan 2024, 11:40 am

My only criticism of Red Roses is they need to use backs a bit more at times. The pack is so dominant that it's inevitable they win so many games through purely over powering opposition. NZ in RWC were I'd say better in backline so if England improve just slightly back play they will be unbeatable. Hopefully Mitchell will bring this.

They need to get likes of Dow, Rowlands and Kildunne on ball as much as possible(which they do often it has to be said).

As for Poppy Cleall that's an odd omission. She was injured but apparently back to full fitness. She is a brilliant 8, I always thought better than Hunter last few years of Hunter Eng career.

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 19 Jan 2024, 11:55 am

Tatiana Heard is a good addition of a hard running 12 which should help, and certainly did work well in the games last season.

Helena Rowland is unfortunate that she's got SO much talent she just gets shoehorned in wherever they can as she's too good to leave out. I think not having her due to injury made a huge difference to the World Cup final. She's represented England at 10, 12, 13 and 15, and has done well at all. Personally I think the 2x playmaker plan with her at 12 and Zoe Harrison at 10 worked brilliantly. I just hope she gets to stay in one position and make it her own.

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Post by mountain man Fri 19 Jan 2024, 12:07 pm

Yes agree. Rowland in centre is best for England although as you say she can pretty much play anywhere.
Scarratt world class but again out injured so I wonder if her career over.

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Post by Mr Bounce Fri 19 Jan 2024, 3:14 pm

I think Scarratt is done. Her neck injury has been ongoing for about a year now. So unfortunate for her. She's such a good player. I remember watching her live back in 2012. She didn't so much run, as glide across the pitch. A fabulous player and brilliant athlete.

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