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England name side for World Cup opener

England head coach Simon Middleton has named his matchday 23 for England’s opening pool game of the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

The Red Roses will take on Spain for the first time in three years when the two sides meet at the UCD Bowl in Dublin tomorrow (KO 14:00 – Live on ITV4).

2014 World Cup winner and vice-captain Emily Scarratt is set to make her 70th appearance for the Red Roses off the bench, while number eight Sarah Hunter will captain the side.

Twelve players are set to make their World Cup debuts including Sarah Bern, Harriet Millar-Mills, Izzy Noel- Smith, Amy Cokayne, Vickii Cornborough, Poppy Cleall and Justine Lucas, who all featured in England’s Six Nations Grand Slam campaign this year.

They are joined by Abbie Scott , Heather Kerr and Zoe Aldcroft in the forwards.

In the backs, Megan Jones and Leanne Riley, who both featured in England’s successful three-Test tour in New Zealand this June, will also make their World Cup debuts.

Full-back Danielle Waterman and inside centre Rachael Burford will make their fourth World Cup appearance, having played in every tournament since 2006.

England Women head coach Simon Middleton said: “We are really happy with the way our tournament preparation has gone and the squad have worked really hard over the past number of months.

“Now it’s about translating that hard work and preparation and delivering performance on the pitch. We have a strong squad and want to use the full depth available to us throughout the World Cup. We are looking forward getting the tournament underway.”

England: Danielle Waterman; Lydia Thompson, Megan Jones, Rachael Burford, Kay Wilson; Katy Mclean, Leanne Riley; Vickii Cornborough, Heather Kerr, Sarah Bern, Abbie Scott, Zoe Aldcroft, Harriet Millar-Mills, Izzy Noel-Smith, Sarah Hunter (Capt).

Replacements: Amy Cokayne, Rochelle Clark, Justine Lucas, Poppy Cleall, Alex Matthews, La Toya Mason, Amber Reed, Emily Scarratt.

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