Women's Six Nations: England name young side against Wales

Tamara Taylor
Tamara Taylor has played in three World Cups for England

England Women have named a young side featuring three debutants for their Six Nations opener against Wales on Sunday.

The Bristol duo of wing Sydney Gregson, 19, and centre Abigail Brown, plus Richmond flanker Hannah Field, will all start in Swansea.

Eight World Cup winners are included, led by new captain Tamara Taylor, with scrum-half La Toya Mason vice-captain.

England won their second World Cup in August 2014, beating Canada 21-9 in the final in Paris.

"This season is the start of a new World Cup cycle for us, so the Six Nations is an opportunity for us to bring on a number of new players. We have got some really exciting young players coming through who will learn a lot from this experience," said acting head coach Nicola Ponsford.

BBC 5 live women's rugby correspondent Sara Orchard:
"Eight World Cup winners still bolster the England starting XV. Wales can expect little respite in the forwards with a full compliment of world champions in the formidable front row of Clark, Croker and Keates. Saracens flanker Hannah Gallagher was very unlucky to miss out on World Cup selection - expect her to finally step out of Maggie Alphonsi's shadow. The backs have less experience, piling the pressure on Mason, Large and Wilson to steady the ship. Keep an eye out for Bristol wing Sydney Gregson, only 19, but much hyped as a star of the future."

"[New caps] Hannah Field, Abbie Brown and Sydney Gregson have all played international sevens so they already have some experience under their belts.

"This talent will be supported by a huge amount of experience across the rest of the squad. The pack is particularly strong, with players like Rochelle Clark, who knows better than anyone the intensity of Six Nations rugby, in particular playing away against Wales."

England are aiming for their first Six Nations crown since 2012.

England team:

15 Kay Wilson (Thurrock), 14 Ruth Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), *13 Abigail Brown (Bristol), 12 Megan Goddard (Worcester), *11 Sydney Gregson (Bristol), 10 Ceri Large (Worcester), 9 La Toya Mason (VC) (Wasps), 1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester), 2 Emma Croker (Richmond), 3 Laura Keates (Worcester), 4 Tamara Taylor (capt) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 5 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond), *6 Hannah Field (Richmond), 7 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens), 8 Alexandra Matthews (Richmond).

Replacements: 16 Victoria Fleetwood (Saracens), *17 Victoria Cornborough (Richmond), 18 Justine Lucas (Lichfield), *19 Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 20 Harriet Millar-Mills (Waterloo), *21 Bianca Blackburn (Worcester), 22 Lauren Cattell (Saracens), *23 Katie Mason (Bristol)

*Denotes new cap

Top Stories