Hannah Sams in U20 England Team to face the Army

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The first England U20 Women matchday squad of the 2023/24 season has been selected by head coach LJ Lewis and assistant coach Sarah McKenna as the team prepare to face Army Women this weekend.

Havant RFC will host the clash this Saturday (23 March), kicking-off at 17:30 GMT and will be streamed live on the England Rugby social media channels. There is no entry fee to Saturday’s event.

Ahead of the first of three fixtures this spring for the U20 Women, second-row forward Lilli Ives Campion (Loughborough Lightning) has been awarded the captaincy of the side.

Ives Campion is accompanied by clubmates Catherine Wells and Ellie Roberts in Lewis’ pack to visit Hampshire this weekend, the latter of whom is in line to earn her first U20 appearance.

Roberts, who has spent her time coaching the U16 Girls team at Havant RFC, is one of eight players to earn their first caps in the selected starting 15. Saracens pair Amelia MacDougall and Chloe Flanagan, Lia Green (Loughborough Lightning), Millie Hyett (Gloucester-Hartpury), Sophie Hopkins (Sale Sharks), Ella Cromack (Harlequins) and Annabel Meta (Trailfinders Women) are all set for their first U20 appearances, with all 10 of the U20 Women replacements also uncapped.

Eight Premiership Women’s Rugby (PWR) clubs, as well as Women’s Championship South 1 side Henley Hawks, are represented in the squad makeup. The group as a collective have attained an impressive 98 PWR appearances to date.

In preparation for their first matchday leading the U20 Women, Lewis and Grand Slam winner McKenna have benefitted from time with the group in camps at Bisham Abbey this year following confirmation of the 2024 England Women’s Pathway U20 Training Squad in February. Nathan Catt has also been involved in imparting his set-piece expertise in recent camps ahead of the side’s impending matchdays.

Beyond Saturday’s meeting, the group look forward to further Tests against away to France on 20 April (Stade Jean Mermoz, Rouen, 18:00 GMT kick-off) before hosting Wales at Dings Crusaders RFC on 4 May (14:30 GMT kick-off).

“It’s a great feeling for coaches and players to have a matchday to look forward to, and that has been evident in the energy the team have brought to training this week. They have prepared exceptionally well at our training base in Bisham,” said LJ Lewis.

“Lilli being awarded our captaincy this weekend is a reflection of the work she has done. Not only with the U20 Women, but the minutes also achieved at club level with Lightning and with the Red Roses in training camps. Now, she deserves to have this opportunity to lead this special group.

“We’re expecting a firm test this weekend in what we as a group are treating as a match away from home and is the perfect opportunity to put into place our plans that we have been constructing throughout the season.”

England U20 Women’s team to face Army (includes current club, university and community club)

15 Lia Green (Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough University, Winscombe RFC)

14 Reneeqa Bonner (Bristol Bears, Hartpury University, Clevedon Rugby Club) *

13 Millie Hyett (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury College, Worcester Girls RFC)

12 Amelia MacDougall (Saracens, Oaklands College, Old Albanian RFC)

11 Sophie Hopkins (Sale Sharks, University of Manchester, Fullerians RFC)

10 Ella Cromack (Harlequins, City of Oxford College, Reading Rugby Football Club)

9 Tori Sellors (Saracens, University of Worcester, Sevenoaks Rugby Club) *

1 Chloe Flanagan (Saracens, Old Albanian RFC)

2 Niamh Swailes (Sale Sharks, Salford University, Ryton RUFC) *

3 Catherine Wells (Loughborough Lightning, University of Worcester, Barkers Butts RFC) *

4 Lilli Ives Campion (c) (Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough University, Telford Hornets RFC) *

5 Lola Whitley (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury College, Sudbury RFC) *

6 Steph Else (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury University, Scarborough Rugby Union Football Club) *

7 Ellie Roberts (Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough University, Basingstoke RFC)

8 Annabel Meta (Trailfinders Women, The Henley College, Wimbledon RFC)


16 Lucy Calladine (Loughborough Lightning, University of Worcester, Burton Rugby Football Club)

17 Amelia Williams (Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough University, Medway Rugby Football Club)

18 Hannah Sams (Exeter Chiefs, Exeter College, Kingsbridge RFC)

19 Jorja Battishill (Gloucester-Hartpury, Hartpury University, Gloucester-Hartpury)

20 Joia Bennett (Saracens, Loreto College, Old Albanian RFC))

21 Alex Wilkinson (Henley Hawks, Oxford University, Henley Hawks)

22 Samantha Shiels (Trailfinders Women, Brunel University, Grasshoppers RFC)

23 Evelyn Clarke (Loughborough Lightning, Birmingham University, Worcester Girls RFC)

24 Carmela Morrall (Loughborough Lightning, Loughborough University, Dubai Hurricanes)

25 Millie David (Bristol Bears, University of West England, Reading Rugby Football Club)

*denotes a player capped at U20 level for England

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