Women’s Six Nations 2024: England recall Emily Scarratt and Zoe Harrison in 35-woman squad

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Emily Scarratt and Zoe Harrison have returned from long-term injuries to make England Women’s Six Nations squad.

Bristol lock Abbie Ward also returns to international duty for the first time since the 2022 World Cup final after giving birth to her daughter.

The 35-woman squad includes uncapped trio Maddie Feaunati and Lizzie Hanlon of Exeter Chiefs, and Trailfinders’ Vicky Laflin.

Poppy Cleall is also included despite currently serving a two-match ban.

The Saracens back row was banned last week for using foul language towards a referee.

Red Roses head coach John Mitchell says Cleall was always going to be selected but has put herself in “a more difficult situation amongst the competition” now she is unavailable for selection for their opening game in Italy on Sunday, 24 March.

Mitchell also explained why she had been dropped from a training camp earlier this year, saying: “Poppy was asked to change some behaviour in her game.

“She’s obviously very experienced, she has played the game in a particular way that has brought her success but we’re wanting to get quicker in what we do and we want more involvements.

“What I loved about the way Poppy went about it is she worked really hard on shifting on that area. We’ve backed her return as a result of that.”

Meanwhile, Cleall’s Saracens team-mate Sydney Gregson might make her first England appearance in nine years after winning her last cap in 2015.

Back-row Feaunati, who is eligible for England, Samoa and New Zealand, earns a first call-up after impressing for Chiefs and catching the eye of Red Roses coach Sarah Hunter.

Mitchell said the 21-year-old is “young and athletic” and her selection was an important consideration with some “aging back-rowers” in his squad.

England are defending their Grand Slam Six Nations title with Mitchell insisting the Red Roses “need to play quicker” with the hope that his squad can “create even more pressure on the opposition”.

Marlie Packer will continue as England captain as Ward and Scarratt, who have both previously operated as vice-captains, will focus on their return to playing.

England Women’s Six Nations squad

Forwards

Zoe Aldcroft, Lark Atkin-Davies, Sarah Beckett, Hannah Botterman, Mackenzie Carson, Poppy Cleall, Kelsey Clifford, Amy Cokayne, Maddie Feaunati, Rosie Galligan, Lizzie Hanlon, Sadia Kabeya, Alex Matthews, Maud Muir, Cath O’Donnell, Marlie Packer (capt), Connie Powell, Morwenna Talling, Abbie Ward.

Backs

Holly Aitchison, Sophie Bridger, Jess Breach, Abby Dow, Sydney Gregson, Zoe Harrison, Tatyana Heard, Natasha Hunt, Megan Jones, Ellie Kildunne, Vicky Laflin, Lucy Packer, Helena Rowland, Emily Scarratt, Emma Sing, Ella Wyrwas.

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