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Emily Scarratt in contention for England’s 100th cap against Ireland in the Six Nations; Helena Rowland at the back for Red Roses | Rugby Union News

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Emily Scarratt will earn her 100th Test cap for England on Sunday

Red Roses center Emily Scarratt will earn her 100th Test cap against Ireland in the Six Nations on Sunday, while Helena Rowland starts at the back for the first time in her Test career.

Elsewhere in head coach Simon Middleton’s squad, Lydia Thompson and Jess Breach start on the wings to form the back three with Rowland, while Saracens duo Zoe Harrison and Holly Aitchison make up the 10-12 centre. Scrum half Leanne Infante will reach the milestone of 50 caps.

Zoe Aldcroft (lock) returns for her first appearance of the 2022 tournament after injury, with Abbie Ward starting at No. 2 and Sarah Hunter captaining the team at No. 8.

Alex Matthews (blind side flanker) and Marlie Packer (open side flanker) are also selected to complete the back row.

Helena Rowland, a frequent 10-year-old starter for England, plays full back for the first time in her Test career

Helena Rowland, a frequent 10-year-old starter for England, plays full back for the first time in her Test career

Vickii Cornborough (free head prop), Lark Davies (harlot) and Sarah Bern (outstretched head prop) retain their front row seats.

Long-term absentees Amy Cokayne (prostitute) and Hannah Botterman (accessory) are named among the replacements.

Sunday’s Test, due to take place at Welford Road, home of the Leicester Tigers, has already seen more than 15,000 tickets sold, which is expected to be a new attendance record for a stand-alone Red Roses home game.

“We are really looking forward to playing our second home game of this Six Nations campaign and playing at Welford Road,” said head coach Middleton.

“It will be a very special day for two of our players. I would like to warmly congratulate Emily Scarratt and Leanne Infante on their 100 and 50 caps respectively.

“It’s going to be an incredible opportunity for ‘Scaz’ in his hometown, you couldn’t write it and the stars have really aligned.

“Leanne fully deserves the recognition, 50 caps is a huge achievement. She has been competing against very tough opposition for the scrum-half shirt for several years but has really established herself as a key part of the Red Roses. We are looking for looking forward to marking the day with her.

Head coach Simon Middleton paid tribute to Scarratt and scrum-half Leanne Infante

Head coach Simon Middleton paid tribute to Scarratt and scrum-half Leanne Infante

“We are very attentive to the availability situation of the Irish players and it’s a real shame because they have been doing well and showing good moments of play. That said, we know that the players who come into their squad will give their all. It’s a huge opportunity for them to show what they can do and we have to be ready for that challenge.

“We are set to break the Red Roses home attendance records again which is remarkable and we thank the people of Leicester and beyond for their support. The atmosphere at Kingsholm was great and even some of our players the more experienced ones had never really played in anything like this..

“It was very special and we know it will be the same on Sunday.”

England Women: 15 Helena Rowland, 14 Lydia Thompson, 13 Emily Scarratt, 12 Holly Aitchison, 11 Jess Breach, 10 Zoe Harrison, 9 Leanne Infante; 1 Vickii Cornborough, 2 Lark Davies, 3 Sarah Bern, 4 Zoe Aldcroft, 5 Abbie Ward, 6 Alex Matthews, 7 Marlie Packer, 8 Sarah Hunter (c).

Replacements: 16 Amy Cokayne, 17 Hannah Botterman, 18 Maud Muir, 19 Rosie Galligan, 20 Poppy Cleall, 21 Natasha Hunt, 22 Amber Reed, 23 Ellie Kildunne.

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