Chiefs duo in England women's squad
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs Women's duo Flo Robinson and Merryn Doidge could earn their first senior caps after they were named in the England Women’s team for Friday evening’s Women’s Six Nations Exhibition match against France.
The Red Roses take on Les Bleues at Villeneuve d'Ascq, Lille (8pm) in a re-run of last Saturday’s Six Nations final which the Red Roses edged 10-6.
Both Robinson and Doidge have been instrumental in helping the newly-formed Chiefs side to a top five placing in the Allianz Premier 15s this season.
They have trained with England during the recent Six Nations campaign and will now be hoping to get their chance for Simon Middleton's squad, which welcome back captain Sarah Hunter and Poppy Cleall to their starting XV.
Fresh from being named Player of the Match in last weekend’s final, Zoe Aldcroft starts at lock while there’s a first start this year for fellow lock Harriet Millar-Mills.
Vicky Fleetwood also returns to the match-day squad at open-side flanker to earn her 79th cap.
Zoe Harrison starts at fly half with Saracens’ Sarah McKenna at inside centre.
Middleton said: “We were absolutely delighted to secure the Six Nations title last Saturday. Attention quickly turned to Friday’s game. We know France will be hurting and we need to be quick out of the blocks.
“Playing France in France is always a huge challenge and one we’re really looking forward to. Although we are missing players, it’s testament to the strength and depth of our squad that we are still able to name a very strong team.
“We’re pleased to have this vital game time against quality opposition. It’s a great opportunity to finish this period on a high.”
ENGLAND WOMEN'S TEAM TO FACE FRANCE WOMEN
15. Ellie Kildunne (Wasps FC Ladies, 14 caps)
14. Jess Breach (Harlequins Women, 18 caps)
13. Emily Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning, 95 caps)
12. Sarah McKenna (Saracens Women, 35 caps)
11. Abby Dow (Wasps FC Ladies, 17 caps)
10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women, 29 caps)
9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins Women, 42 caps)
1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Women, 59 caps)
2. Amy Cokayne (Harlequins Women, 56 caps)
3. Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Women, 23 caps)
4. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury Women, 23 caps)
5. Harriet Millar-Mills (Wasps FC Ladies 61 caps)
6. Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women, 46 caps)
7. Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens Women, 78 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning, 125 caps, capt)
16. Lark Davies (Loughborough Lightning, 31 caps)
17. Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women, 21 caps)
18. Bryony Cleall (Saracens Women, 4 caps)
19. Abbie Ward (Harlequins Women, 47 caps)
20. Sarah Beckett (Harlequins Women, 20 caps)
21. Claudia MacDonald (Wasps FC Ladies, 14 caps)
22. Flo Robinson (Exeter Chiefs Women, 0 caps)
23. Merryn Doidge (Exeter Chiefs Women, 0 caps)