Hampshire congratulates former Hampshire ladies Rowena Burnfield, Fiona Pocock & Victoria Cornborough on their England Selection


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Two new faces in England back three

Justine Lucas, Rowena Burnfield and Hannah Field all start


World Cup-winning wing Lydia Thompson and Richmond full back Fiona Pocock will make their first starts for England Women in this year's Six Nations on Friday against Scotland at the Northern Echo Arena in Darlington (kick-off 7.35pm).


Worcester flyer Thompson has not represented her country since the World Cup pool game against Spain in August, when she picked up a hamstring strain that ruled her out of the tournament. Pocock has been side-lined through injury since playing Ireland in the 2013 Six Nations.


The back-three duo are two of five changes acting England Women's Head Coach Nicola Ponsford has made to the starting line-up. Justine Lucas, Rowena Burnfield and Hannah Field are all given the nod to start in place of Laura Keates, Abigail Scott and Hannah Gallagher.


"It's great to welcome Lydia and Fiona back into the squad after their absence through injury," said Ponsford.


"Both are quality players who have proved themselves on the world stage at both the 2014 and 2010 Rugby World Cups. They are now ready to come back into the mix and I am really looking forward to seeing them back in an England shirt.


"We have made three other changes to the starting XV. Justine, Rowena and Hannah will benefit from more game time, they have been training really well and they deserve the opportunity to start."


England head into Friday's clash, which is a Six Nations double header with England Men U20s, currently fourth in the Six Nations after defeats to Ireland and Wales and one victory against Italy. Scotland, meanwhile, are yet to record a win and sit at the bottom of the championship table.


Ponsford added: "We are expecting a physical battle against Scotland. They have a big forward pack that has put a lot of pressure on the other nations they have played this season. We are certainly expecting them to front up and give us a difficult game.


"For us, we are heading into the match very much focused on our performance. We were disappointed with the execution of our game plan against Ireland so we have been working hard on how we are going to deliver that against Scotland."


England Women to face Scotland


15. Fiona Pocock (Richmond)
14. Ruth Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
13. Abigail Brown (Bristol)
12. Ceri Large (Worcester)
11. Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
10. Katy Mclean (captain, Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
9. Bianca Blackburn (Worcester)

1. Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
2. Victoria Fleetwood (Saracens)
3. Justine Lucas (Lichfield)
4. Tamara Taylor (vice-captain, Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
5. Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
6. Alexandra Matthews (Richmond)
7. Hannah Field (Richmond)
8. Harriet Millar-Mills (Waterloo)




16. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield)
17. Victoria Cornborough (Richmond)
18. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
19. Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
20. Hannah Gallagher (Saracens)
21. Fiona Davidson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
22. Amber Reed (Bristol)
23. Lauren Cattell (Saracens)


England Women's Six Nations results and remaining fixtures


8 February – Wales 13 England 0
15 February – England 39 Italy 7
27 February – Ireland 11 England 8
13 March – England vs Scotland, kick-off 7.35pm, the Northen Echo Arena, Darlington. Live on Sky Sports.
21 March – England vs France, kick-off 7.20pm, Twickenham Stadium. Live on the BBC red button.


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