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Six Nations: Round One Team news

All the team news as we get it ahead of round one of the women's Six Nations. 

Wales v Scotland, 
Friday, February 2, Colwyn Bay, 18.00

The news from the Scotland team includes the selection of Jade Konkel at prop instead of in the back row while captain Lisa Martin returns to inside centre, after featuring at scrum-half in Scotland's last match.

Four players could make their Scottish debuts as replacements. Prop Siobhan McMillan could join her sister Louise, a flanker, in the pack, while Jodie Rettie, Siobhan Cattigan and Mags Lowish could also win their first caps

Head coach Shade Munro said: "The continuity in the squad is testament to the performances and effort the players have put in over the season.

"But it's about ensuring we have competition for places and our best players on the pitch.

"We had our most successful Six Nations for a number of years in 2017 so we are keen to kick on and keep improving across the park."

Meanwhile Wales have also named four new players but they are all starting. Lock Natalia John, flanker Beth Lewis, scrum-half Jade Knight and wing Hannah Bluck will make debuts. Two more new names - Teleri Davies and Lisa Neumann - are on the bench.

Several senior players are in Australia with Wales sevens, as part of preparations for the Commonwealth Games including Sioned Harries, Shona Powell-Hughes and Jasmine Joyce.

"We're seeing more competition for places, which is reflected in our selections for Friday," said Phillips. 

"We've got an average age of 24, so I expect these players to be pushing each other on for many years to come."

As a result of the loss of key players in the Welsh squad this weekend, Scotland surely start as slight favourites, even though they are travelling. 

Wales: Jodie Evans (Scarlets); Hannah Bluck (Cardiff Blues), Kerin Lake (Ospreys), Rebecca De Filippo (Dragons), Jess Kavanagh-Williams (RGC); Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys), Jade Knight (Scarlets); Caryl Thomas (Scarlets), Carys Phillips (Ospreys, capt), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Natalia John (Ospreys), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Alisha Butchers (Scarlets), Beth Lewis (Scarlets), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys).
Replacements: Kelsey Jones (Ospreys), Gwenllian Pyrs (RGC), Cerys Hale (Dragons), Teleri Davies (RGC), Nia Elen Davies (Scarlets), Rhiannon Parker (Cardiff Blues), Lleucu George (Scarlets), Lisa Neumann (Scarlets).

Scotland: Chloe Rollie (Lille Metropole), Liz Musgrove (Edinburgh University), Lisa Thomson (Lille Metropole), Lisa Martin (DMP Sharks, capt), Rhona Lloyd (Edinburgh University), Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers), Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning); Jade Konkel (Lille Metropole), Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning), Megan Kennedy (Stirling County), Emma Wassell (Murrayfield Wanderers), Deborah McCormack (Harlequins), Hannah Smith (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Louise McMillan (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Sarah Bonar (Loughborough Lightning).
Replacements: Lana Skeldon (Watsonians), Siobhan McMillan (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Lindsey Smith (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Mags Lowish (Loughborough Lightning), Siobhan Cattigan (Stirling County/Stirling University), Jodie Rettie (Thurrock RFC), Sarah Law (Edinburgh University/Murrayfield Wanderers), Lauren Harris (Edinburgh University).
 

France v Ireland
Saturday, Stade Ernst Wallon, Toulouse, 9pm local time

Ireland turn to veteran fullback Niamh Briggs to full the vacant number 10 spot left thanks to the retirement of Nora Stapleton. Briggs has been out injured for the past year and will provide leadership and an excellent boot to the number 10 shirt. 

Briggs played there against Wales last month in a friendly which Ireland won. It's been a difficult few months for Ireland but this marks a fresh start for new captain Ciara Griffin and new head coach Adam Griggs.

The side to face France includes one new cap in Ireland Sevens player Megan Williams on the right wing. The uncapped prop Laura Feely is named among the replacements. 

France have something of a new look too with new captain Gaëlle Hermet leading the side from openside flanker. Such as the talents of the French back row at the moment, that star no 8 Safi N'Diaye has been pushed into the second row and France also have formidable talent still on the bench in the likes of Audrey Forlani and Coumba Diallo. 

At home. France will be favourites.

Ireland:  Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster); Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/Leinster)*; Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster), Sene Naoupu (Railway Union/Leinster); Alison Miller (Portloaise /Connacht); Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemian/Munster), Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster); Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster), Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemian/Munster), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster), Orla Fitzsimons (St Mary’s/Leinster); Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol /Connacht), Ciara Griffin (Tralee/Munster) Capt.
Replacements: Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster), Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht)*, Ciara O’Connor (Galwegians/Connacht), Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/ Connacht), Paula Fitzpatrick (St Mary’s/Leinster), Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht), Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Ulster), Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht).

France 15. Jessy Trémoulière 14. Caroline Boujard 13. Jade Le Pesq 12. Camille Boudaud 11. Cyrielle Banet 10. Pauline Bourdon 9. Yanna Rivoalen 8. Romane Ménager 7. Gaelle Hermet (cap) 6. Marjorie Mayans 5. Safi N'Diaye 4. Celine Ferer 3. Julie Duval 2. Agathe Sochat 1. Lisa Arricastre
Replacements: 16. Gaelle Mignot 17. Dhia Traore 18. Patricia Carricaburu 19. Audrey Forlani 20. Coumba Diallo 21. Emma Coudert 22. Gabrielle Vernier 23. Marine Ménager
 

Italy v England
Sunday, February 4, KO 5:30pm GMT​

Saracens back Lauren Cattell will earn her first cap for England since 2016, after she was named at outside-centre alongside Rachael Burford in England's midfield l

Exciting young outside bac Ellie Kildunne starts at full-back, in a move that sees Danielle Waterman push out to the the wing. Elsewhere England's team looks settled, and Sarah Bern returns at prop after her stunning World Cup and subsequent injury problems.

Charlotte Pearce could earn her first international cap off the bench. 

Coach Simon Middleton said: "The squad are ready for what will be a physical test against Italy. We know they can be unpredictable in how they play and have a well organised set piece. We have prepared well, with all players training at a consistently high standard throughout camp.

"With the depth and quality of players we have in the squad, we could have opted for a number of combinations with selection, but we have always said we would be selecting on form and have stayed true to that. We have full confidence this side can deliver a win on Sunday."

Amber Reed and Lagi Tuima were both unavailable for selection through injury. 

England:  15 Ellie Kildunne, 14 Abigail Dow, 13 Lauren Cattell, 12 Rachael Burford, 11 Danielle Waterman, 10 Katy Daley-McClean, 9 Leanne Riley; 1 Rochelle Clark, 2 Lark Davies, 3 Sarah Bern, 4 Abbie Scott, 5 Tamara Taylor, 6 Poppy Cleall, 7 Marlie Parker, 8 Sarah Hunter (c).
Replacements: 16. Amy Cokayne, 17 Vickii Cornborough, 18. Justine Lucas, 19 Rowena Burnfield, 20 Izzy Noel-Smith, 21 Caity Mattinson, 22 Zoe Harrison, 23 Charlotte Pearce.