England Women kick off their autumn schedule this week against the USA and the occasion at Allianz Park will see fly-half Katy Daley-Mclean reach 100 caps for the Red Roses.
Captain of England’s World Cup-winning team four years ago, Daley-Mclean’s international career to date boasts numerous accolades including six Grand Slam titles.
Along with the silverware, the 32-year-old will become just the fifth England player – male or female – to reach 100 caps.
Coach Simon Middleton paid a special tribute to the fly-half in announcing his team for Friday night’s clash, saying: “Katy is one of the greatest women’s players ever. It’s a remarkable achievement to get 100 caps for your country, especially considering she took time out in the Sevens programme to represent Team GB in the Olympics.
“She has everything; an accomplished skillset, ability and a thorough understanding of the game. Katy is a great asset to England, a natural leader and an inspirational player. She knows how to inspire a team and is a great on-field motivator.”
The team named by Middleton features four debutants in Saracens prop Ellena Perry, Firwood Waterloo No 8 Sarah Beckett and an all-new midfield combination of Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury) and Carys Williams (Loughborough Lightning).
USA will be hoping to bounce back from a chastening 67-6 defeat to the Black Ferns in Chicago last weekend, in a match which saw the Eagles hand opportunities to 13 debutants in their 23.
England team to take on the USA at Allianz Park
England Women: 15 Sarah McKenna (Saracens), 14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries), 13 Carys Williams (Loughborough Lightning), 12 Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury), 11 Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury), 10 Katy Daley-Mclean (Loughborough Lightning), 9 Leanne Riley (Harlequins); 1 Ellena Perry (Saracens), 2 Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries), 3 Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins), 4 Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury), 5 Abbie Scott (Harlequins, capt), 6 Joanna Brown (Loughborough Lightning), 7 Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens), 8 Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo)
Replacements: 16 Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park), 17 Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins), 18 Hannah Botterman (Saracens), 19 Cath O’Donnell (Loughborough Lightning), 20 Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning), 21 Claudia Macdonald (Wasps), 22 Zoe Harrison (Saracens), 23 Lucy Attwood (Bristol Bears)