Women's Six Nations 2017: Four newcomers in England squad

France score
France beat England to win the 2016 Women's Six Nations
Women's Six Nations 2017 on the BBC
Dates: 3 Feb-18 Mar
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra plus highlights on BBC TV.

England women head coach Simon Middleton has included four new faces in his 33-player squad for the Six Nations, which starts on 3 February.

Bianca Blackburn (Worcester Valkyries), Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries), Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) and Leanne Riley (Aylesford Bulls) have all been picked.

Prop Rochelle Clark, 35, who last year became the most-capped international player, has also been selected.

England host France in their opener.

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The match takes place at Twickenham at 19:35 GMT on 4 February, following the corresponding men's Six Nations encounter.

Claire Allan (Saracens), Emily Braund (Lichfield) and Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) all miss out because of injuries.

England play twice at the Twickenham Stoop - against Italy on Saturday, 25 February (13:00) and Scotland on Saturday, 11 March (13:00).

They face Wales at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, 11 February (11.30) and finish their campaign in Dublin against Ireland on Friday, 17 March (20:00).

Middleton said: "This is a huge year and we now have a squad training full-time. Our preparation is based around a world-class programme and the Six Nations forms a key milestone before the Women's Rugby World Cup in August."

England's 33-player squad:

Forwards

Zoe Aldcroft (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Sarah Bern (Bristol), Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries), Poppy Cleall (Bristol), Amy Cokayne (Lichfield), Vickii Cornborough* (Aylesford Bulls), Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries), Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens), Sarah Hunter (Bristol), Laura Keates (Worcester Valkyries), Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Justine Lucas (Lichfield), Alex Matthews (Richmond), Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield), Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol), Marlie Packer (Bristol), Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks).

Backs

Bianca Blackburn (Worcester Valkyries), Rachael Burford (Aylesford Bulls), Natasha Hunt (Lichfield), Megan Jones (Bristol), La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Sarah McKenna (Saracens), Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Fiona Pocock (Aylesford Bulls), Amber Reed (Bristol), Leanne Riley (Aylesford Bulls), Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), Emily Scott (Saracens), Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries), Danielle Waterman (Bristol), Kay Wilson (Richmond), Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol).

* suspended from 10 January to 27 February

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