The online home of Women's Rugby

Weekend team news: Daley-McLean to win 100th cap

We bring you all the team news  as we get it ahead of the four Autumn internationals being played this weekend.

England v USA
Friday 9 November - Allianz Park (KO 7.45pm, Sky Sports Arena) 

The main story of the team sheet from the home side is the selection of Katy Daley-McLean at fly half, with the former England skipper set to win her 100th cap.  She captained England to World Cup glory in 2014 and took some time away from 15s to play 7s, representing Great Britain at the Olympics.

She has consistently been one of the best players in the world - and is surely among the top female fly-halves to ever have played the game. 

Aside from this major milestone there are some eye catching selections elsewhere with four new caps in the starting team.  Saracens prop Ellena Perry starts at loose-head with Firwood Waterloo teenager Sarah Beckett at number eight.In the backs there is a new centre pairing in Tatyana Heard from Gloucester-Hartpury and Carys Williams from Loughborough Lightning - the club Daley-Mclean joined earlier the year.

Harlequins second-row Abbie Scott is named captain, as Sarah Hunter is named among the replacements. 

The USA come into the game having been beaten 67-6 by reigning world champions New Zealand at Soldier Field in Chicago last weekend and their head coach Rob Cain, will be on familiar turf on Friday. He is the former Saracens coach. 

He has once again named an inexperienced lineup that may well struggle against England at home, with five changes made to the starting team. Six players in the starting line up made their USA debuts last weekend while Sarah Levy makes her debut in this match. 

"We are excited by the challenge that England presents us," said Head Coach Rob Cain. "They are ranked second in the world and it's going to be another great experience for us as a group . They will pose lots of different problems for us to solve with their accuracy and it will be up to us to control the space battle and create the pictures we want to see on the pitch."

England: 15 Sarah McKenna 14 Lydia Thompson 13 Carys Williams 12 Tatyana Heard 11 Kelly Smith 10 Katy Daley-Mclean  9 Leanne Riley 1 Ellena Perry  2 Lark Davies 3 Shaunagh Brown 4 Zoe Aldcroft 5 Abbie Scott (C), 6 Joanna Brown  7 Vicky Fleetwood  8 Sarah Beckett 
Replacements: 16 Heather Kerr 17 Vickii Cornborough 18 Hannah Botterman  19 Catherine O'Donnell 20 Sarah Hunter 21 Claudia Macdonald 22 Zoe Harrison 23 Lucy Attwood

USA: 1. Megan Rom 2. Joanna Kitlinski 3. Catie Benson Prop 4. Stacey Bridges 5. Alycia Washington 6. Rachel Johnson 7. Kate Zackary (C) 8. Jordan Gray-Matyas 9. Anna Karen Pedraza 10. Gabby Cantorna 
11. Sarah Levy 12. McKenzie Hawkins 13. Emily Henrich 14. Kelsi Stockert 15. Kaitlyn Broughton 
Replacements: 16. Joyce Taufa 17. Azniv Nalbandian 18. Nick James 19. Melissa Finkelstein 20. Kristine Sommer 21. Nikki Kenyon Reserve 22. Megan Foster 23. Jennine Duncan

Women's rugby centurions

Donna Kennedy (Scotland) (100th cap v France, 18/3/2007)
Louise Rickard (Wales) (100th cap v France, 15/3/2008)
Amy Garnett (England) (100th cap v Canada, 13/8/2011)
Rochelle Clark (England) (100th cap v France, 21/3/2015)
Tamara Taylor (England) (100th cap v Wales, 11/2/2017)
Katy Daley-McLean (England) (100th cap v USA, 9/11/2018)

France v New Zealand
Friday 9 November, Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon, 9pm

Gaelle Hermet captains a settled looking French side in what looks like the tie of the weekend with the Six Nations champions up against the World Champions. 

She is named in the team alongside fellow World Rugby's Women's Player of the Year nominees Safi N'Diaye and Pauline Bourdon with the fourth French nominee Jessy Trémoulière ruled out of the Autumn series through injury. 

Team manager Annick Hayraud is excited at the prospect of France testing themselves against the world champions. "Last year we were coming out of a World Cup and there were new players in the side. That's why we chose slightly weaker opposition in terms of world rankings. Now we have a more established group of players."

"We have looked at their game and seen their strengths and their weaknesses. But the most important thing is the desire to continue with our game plan based on speed and variety. We are not going to change everything because we are playing the world champions but we will keep raising our game."

New Zealand have made just two changes from the team who hammered USA. Coach Glenn Moore has started Krysten Cottrell, who came off the bench last week, to start at fly-half with Ruahei Demant shifting to centre at the expense of Chelsea Alley.

The Black Ferns reserves will consist of six forwards and two backs, a proven combination from last year's Women’s Rugby World Cup.  

"It's an approach we used in Ireland and it worked well for us," added Moore. "We're expecting the French to be very physical up front and we’ve been training really hard to ensure we’re ready for that.

"Having an extra forward available will give us extra strength to combat the French pack."

On the bench, Linda Ituni has announced that she is to retire following the two games against France 

New Zealand: 1-Phillipa Love, 2-Fiao'o Faamausili (c), 3-Aldora Itunu, 4-Eloise Blackwell, 5-Charmaine Smith, 6-Charmaine McMenamin, 7-Les Elder, 8-Aroha Savage, 9-Kendra Cocksedge, 10- Krysten Cottrell, 11- Ayesha Leti-I'iga, 12- Ruahei Demant, 13-Stacey Waaka, 14-Renee Wickliffe, 15-Selica Winiata
Replacements: 16-Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, 17-Leilani Perese, 18-Aleisha-Pearl Nelson, 19-Jackie Patea-Fereti, 20-Linda Itunu, 21-Marcelle Parkes*, 22-Kristina Sue, 23-Monica Tagoai

France: 15. Montserrat Amédée 14. Cyrielle Banet 13. Nassira Kondé 12. Carla Neisen1 1. Caroline Boujard 10. Caroline Drouin  9. Pauline Bourdon 1. Anaëlle Deshayes 2. Caroline Thomas 3. Julie Duval  4. Lénaïg Corson 5. Safi N'Diaye 6. Gaëlle Hermet (C) 7. Julie Annery 8. Romane Ménager 
Replacements: 16. Laure Touyé 17. Lise Arricastre 18. Chloé Pelle 19. Audrey Forlani 20. Céline Ferer 21. Yanna Rivoalen 22. Maëlle Filopon 23. Ian Jason 
 

Spain v Hong Kong

Teams TBC

Wales v South Africa
Saturday 10 November ,Cardiff Arms Park, 11.30am

Rowland Phillips has named a strong side for Wales, with just one uncapped player in the starting team -  the 17 year old Ospreys full back Lauren Smyth - and three -  Manon Johnes (also 17) , Ffion Lewis and Alicia McComish on the bench. Alisha Butchers returns to the Wales team after a long lay-off due to injury, and the starting line-up includes eight of the Regional Championship winning Ospreys Women squad, plus three more on the bench.

Of the new caps, Phillips said: "We knew Lauren (Smyth) was talented. She's been involved in the sevens programme, but the regional programme really accelerated her development - her performances were outstanding throughout.”

Wales: Lauren Smyth (Ospreys); Jasmine Joyce (Scarlets), Alecs Donovan (Ospreys), Kerin Lake (Ospreys), Jess Kavanagh (RGC); Robyn Wilkins (Blues), Keira Bevan(Ospreys) ; Caryl Thomas (Dragons), Carys Phillips (captain, Ospreys), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Alisha Butchers (Scarlets), Bethan Lewis (Dragons), Sioned Harries (Scarlets)
Replacements: Kelsey Jones (Ospreys), Cara Hope (Ospreys), Cerys Hale (Dragons), Natalia John (Ospreys), Manon Johnes (Blues), Ffion Lewis (Scarlets), Alicia McComish (Dragons), Lisa Neumann (RGC)

South Africa Team TBC