England women team news: Marlie Packer picked in aftermath of drink-driving case

Marlie Packer and Sarah Hunter
Marlie Packer (left) and Abbie Scott (right) combine as England beat France in their World Cup semi-final last year
England women v Canada women
Venue: Castle Park, Doncaster Date: Sunday, 18 November Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Marlie Packer has been named in the England team to face Canada on Sunday, a week after she pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

Packer was banned from driving for 17 months, reduced to 14 on completion of a driving course, after hitting another vehicle in September while twice the legal drink-drive limit.

The flanker's return is one of 10 changes made by coach Simon Middleton.

Saracens team-mate Poppy Cleall and number eight Sarah Hunter also return.

Fly-half Zoe Harrison - who came on in the 57-5 win over the United States - starts at 10 with Katy Daley-Mclean on the bench. Millie Wood, more often a centre, makes her first Test start on the wing.

Prop Hannah Botterman and second row Catherine O'Donnell are also in the XV.

"The competition for places is really tough within the squad and that's great to see. There were some excellent individual performances against the USA and I will expect to see the same against Canada," said Middleton.

England whitewashed fourth-ranked Canada in a three-Test series last November. The visitors will play Wales and Scotland on 24 and 27 November respectively.

The meeting with Canada is the penultimate chance for players to impress Middleton before 28 full-time 15-a-side contracts are awarded in January. England will play Ireland at Twickenham on 24 November in their final autumn international.

marlie Packer
Packer was part of the 2014 World Cup-winning team

No excuses - Packer

Packer, who could lose her job as a plumber, said she had "no excuses" for her "serious error of judgement".

"I have apologised to my family, loved ones and the club for this totally unacceptable behaviour," said Packer.

"I wish to say sorry to my team-mates and supporters whom I have also let down."

An RFU spokesperson added: "The matter has been dealt with by the courts and the England Women team management have spoken to Marlie who understands her responsibilities as an England player.

"Marlie remains eligible for selection to the England team."

England: McKenna; Wood, Attwood, Burford, Smith; Harrison, Riley; Cornborough, Davies, Botterman, O'Donnell, Scott, Cleall, Packer, Hunter (c).

Replacements: Kerr, Perry, Brown, Aldcroft, Brown, Macdonald, Daley-Mclean, Williams

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