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Six Nations: Squad news

The 2018 Six Nations is only four weeks away - and we are now getting an idea about what the teams are likely to look like.

England

There are some new faces in this England squad this season. England U20s Helena Rowland (Saracens Women) and Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women), who made her international debut against Canada last year, both join the training squad for this year's compeititon, while Charlotte Pearce (Loughborough Lightning), who took part in England’s extended training camp in October and also featured in the training games against South Africa, is also included.

Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Ladies), who earned her first international cap in the opening Old Mutual Wealth Series Test which saw England beat Canada 79-5, has joined the squad as a new EPS player.

Backs: Bianca Blackburn (Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC), Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies), Lauren Cattell (Saracens Women), Charlotte Clapp (Saracens Women), Abigail Dow (Wasps FC Ladies), Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women), Ellie Kildunne (Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC), Caity Mattinson (Bristol Ladies), Charlotte Pearce (Loughborough Lightning), Amber Reed (Bristol Ladies), Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies), Helena Rowland (Saracens Women), Kelly Smith (Gloucester- Hartpury Women’s RFC), Lagi Tuima (Bristol Ladies), Danielle Waterman (Wasps FC Ladies), Rachael Woosey (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks). Katy Daley-Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) will miss the camp for personal reasons.

Forwards: Sarah Bern (Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC), Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women), Jo Brown (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Ladies), Rowena Burnfield (Richmond FC), Amy Cokayne (Wasps FC Ladies), Rochelle Clark (Wasps FC Ladies), Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women), Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies), Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries), Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning), Olivia Jones (Loughborough Lightning), Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Poppy Leitch (Bristol Ladies), Justine Lucas (Wasps FC Ladies), Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol Ladies), Catherine O’Donnell (Loughborough Lightning), Marlie Packer (Saracens Women), Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Abbie Scott (Harlequins Ladies).

France

Shannon Izar’s absence (due to a knee operation) is the headline news from the French training squad, which – despite being right at the start of the cycle leading to the next World Cup – is not lacking in experience - over three-quarters of the players already have national caps.

Squad: Lise Arricastre (Lons Rugby Béarn Pyrénées); Cyrielle Banet (Montpellier RC); Camille Boudaud (Stade Toulousain); Caroline Boujard (Montpellier RC); Pauline Bourdon (AS Bayonnaise); Patricia Carricaburu (Lons Rugby Béarn Pyrénées); Emma Coudert (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin); Annaëlle Deshaye (AS Rouen Université Club); Julie Duval (L’Ovalie Caennaise); Madoussou Fall (AC Bobigny 93 Rugby); Céline Ferer (AS Bayonnaise); Maëlle Filopon (FC Grenoble Amazones); Audrey Forlani (Blagnac Rugby Féminin); Emeline Gros (FC Grenoble Amazones); Gaëlle Hermet (Stade Toulousain); Fiona Lecat (Stade Toulousain); Jade Le Pesq (Stade Rennais Rugby); Marjorie Mayans (Blagnac Rugby Féminin); Marine Menager (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois); Romane Menager (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois); Gaëlle Mignot (Richmond Rugby); Safi N'diaye (Montpellier RC); Elise Pignot (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin); Yanna Rivoalen (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois); Agathe Sochat (Montpellier RC); Milena Soloch (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois); Caroline Thomas (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin); Laure Touye (Blagnac Rugby Féminin); Jessy Tremouliere (Stade Rennais Rugby); Gabrielle Vernier (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois)

Ireland

Ireland include nine uncapped players in their squad, which includes nine players from the sevens squad who will be unavailable for the opening game.

Starting with France away will be a tough ask for an Irish side who have been through a challenging post World Cup period, with a public fallout between players and the union, a new head coach and a number of surprising absentees including Jen Murphy and the retirement of Sophie Spence.

Mike Ross has joined the coaching team in a scrum role and his experience will be invaluable in this vital year for Ireland on the back of a poor home World Cup. Ciara Griffin has been named as the new captain. 

Backs (20): Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster); Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Ulster); Michelle Claffey (Blackrock/Leinster) *; Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht); Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster); Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock/Leinster); Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster); Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster); Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster); Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht); Katie Heffernan (Railway Union/Leinster) *; Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster) *; Ailsa Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster); Claire McLaughlin (Cooke/Ulster); Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht); Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster); Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird (UL Bohemians/Munster) *; Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster); Susan Vaughan (Railway Union/Leinster) *; Megan Williams (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *

Forwards (18): Elaine Anthony (Highfield/Munster); Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster); Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/Munster); Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster); Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht) *; Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's/Leinster); Orla Fitzsimons (St. Mary's/Leinster); Nichola Fryday (Tullamore/Connacht); Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster); Leah Lyons (Highfield/Munster); Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster) *; Edel McMahon ((Galwegians/Connacht) *; Claire Molloy (Bristol); Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster); Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians/Connacht); Chloe Pearse (UL Bohemians/Munster); Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster); Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster)

* Denotes uncapped player

Italy

Sara Barattin will once again lead Italy into the Women's Six Nations with head coach Andrea Di Giandomenico naming a 32-strong squad for the Championship.

Barattin is the most experienced player in the squad with 77 appearances for her country, while Manuela Furlan, who has 61 caps, is also included. 

In addition to the experienced trio, Di Giandomenico has named eight newcomers to the squad including Gloucester-Hartpury flanker Bianca Maria Coltellini and scrum-half Arianna Corbucci. Also in line for international debuts are Chiara Maria D'Apice, Giordana Duca, Giorgia Durante, Giada Franco, Michela Merlo, and Miriam Pagani.

SQUAD:  SARA BARATTIN - Villorba Initiative Rugby (Caps 77) ILARIA ARRIGHETTI - Stade Rennais Rugby (Caps 30 MELISSA BETTONI - Stade Rennais Rugby (Caps 41) ELISA BONALDO - Rugby Colorno (Caps 3) JESSICA BUSATO - Villorba Initiative Rugby (Caps 1) BIANCA MARIA COLTELLINI - Gloucester-Hartpury (uncapped) ARIANNA CORBUCCI - Frascati Rugby Club (uncapped) CHIARA MARIA D'APICE - Montevirginio Mini Rugby (uncapped) GIORDANA DUCA - Frascati Rugby Club (uncapped) GIORGIA DURANTE - Montebelluna Rugby 1977 (uncapped) VALERIA FEDRIGHI - Saracens (Caps 8) GIADA FRANCO - Rugby Colorno (uncapped) MANUELA FURLAN - Villorba Initiatives Rugby (Caps 61) LUCIA GAI - Stade Rennais Rugby (Caps 52) GAIA GIACOMOLI - Rugby Colorno (Caps 8) ELISA GIORDANO - Valsugana Rugby Padova (Caps 27) ANNAMARIA GIZZI - Frascati Rugby Club (Caps 1) CARLOTTA GUERRESCHI - CUS Torino (Caps 1) ISABELLA LOCATELLI - Rugby Monza 1949 (Caps 16) VERONICA MADIA - Rugby Colorno (Caps 7) MARIA MAGATTI - Rugby Monza 1949 (Caps 21) MICHELA MERLO - Rugby Mantova (Uncapped) AURA MUZZO - Rugby Villorba Initiatives (Caps 1) MIRIAM PAGANI - Rugby Como (uncapped)
ELISA PILLOTTI - Chicken CUS Pavia (Caps 10) ELEONORA RICCI - CRAT A Coruña (Caps 1) BEATRICE RIGONI - Valsugana Rugby Padova (Caps 22) VALENTINA RUZZA - Valsugana Rugby Padova (Caps 10) MICHELA SILLARI - Rugby Colorno (Caps 39) SOFIA STEFAN - Stade Rennais Rugby (Caps 33) SILVIA TURANI - Rugby Colorno (Caps 1) BEATRICE VERONESE - Valsugana Rugby Padova (Caps 1)

Scotland

In many respects Scotland start ahead of their rival in the build to 2021 as they had no World Cup last year (and, come to that, no upcoming World Series, Sevens World Cup or Commonwealth Games either) to distract them, and this squad builds directly on their 2017 Six Nations where they had their best performance for a decade.

They will also warm up with a test against Spain at Scotstoun next month (Sunday 21 January, kick-off 1pm TBC).

Wales

Wales have 10 uncapped players in their squad.  There are five potential debutantes apiece in the forwards and backs: Ospreys trio Natalia John, Amy Thomas and Cara Hope, Scarlets’ Beth Lewis and Cardiff Blues’ Awen Prysor (forwards); Ospreys’ Alecs Donovan, Cardiff Blues’ Hannah Bluck, and Scarlets trio Jade Knight, Lisa Neumann and Angharad De Smet (backs).

Each player in the squad has been part of Wales Women’s One Programme (dovetailing fifteens and sevens) for the past two months – with the exception of flanker Prysor, who impressed the coaches with her regional performances for the Blues.

Forwards: Alisha Butchers (Scarlets), Amy Evans (Ospreys), Amy Thomas (Ospreys), Awen Prysor* (Cardiff Blues), Beth Lewis* (Scarlets), Cara Hope* (Ospreys), Caryl Thomas (Scarlets), Carys Phillips (c) (Ospreys), Cerys Hale (Dragons), Gwenllian Pyrs (RGC), Kelsey Jones (Ospreys), Meg York (Dragons), Mel Clay (Ospreys), Natalia John* (Ospreys), Nia Elen Davies (Scarlets), Shona Powell-Hughes (Ospreys), Sioned Harries (Scarlets), Siwan Lillicrap (Ospreys).

Backs: Alecs Donovan* (Ospreys), Angharad De Smet (Scarlets), Elinor Snowsill (Dragons), Ffion Lewis* (Scarlets), Gemma Rowland (Dragons), Hannah Bluck* (Cardiff Blues), Hannah Jones (Scarlets), Jade Knight* (Scarlets), Jasmine Joyce (Scarlets), Jessica Kavanagh-Williams (RGC), Jodie Evans (Scarlets), Kerin Lake (Ospreys), Lisa Neumann (Scarlets), Lleucu George (Scarlets), Rebecca De Filippo (Dragons), Rhiannon Nokes (Ospreys), Rhiannon Parker (Cardiff Blues), Robyn Wilkins (Ospreys).
Development Players: Amy Morgan (Scarlets), India Berbillion (Dragons), Katie Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Katie Thicker (Scarlets), Liliana Podpadec (Dragons), Teleri Davies (RGC).