The online home of Women's Rugby

Busy weekend kicks off in Exeter

A jam-packed November schedule for the women’s game continues in the coming days with a number of high profile test games.

England’s clash against France tomorrow is the pick of the bunch, as the hosts return to Exeter, a venue they sold out last time they played there in the Six Nations against Italy.

This is the return leg of the clash won by England in the south of France last weekend and unsurprisingly Simon Middleton makes just one change to the side who played well and got the win, with Lydia Thompson returning on the wing, replacing Jess Breach in a game in which Marlie Packer will win her first cap.

France have made four changes following a game in which they failed to take advantage of a dominant scrum at times and numerous attacking chances. Marine Ménager moves to the  bench with Ian Jason starting in her place, while Caroline Drouin's return to 7s sees Morgane Peyronnet at 10 while Laura Sansus takes the place of scrum-half Pauline Bourdon. In the pack there is only one change with Céline Ferer named in place of Marjorie Mayans.

Numerous other European nations are hosting tests this weekend.

Italy welcome Japan and Scotland host Wales, with the latter likely to prove an interesting marker ahead of the Six Nations. Wales’ win over Ireland at the weekend will have boosted confidence and there are three uncapped players in the starting team this weekend with Robyn Lock, Niamh Terry and Rebekah O’Loughlin named. The team are without head coach Rowland Phillips who is currently "taking some time away” from his duties.

Scotland are back in action following a good tour to South Africa and are led by new captain Rachel Malcolm. 

Meanwhile the European Trophy continues with the test between Czechia and Sweden. The defending champions Czechia will win the title if they win, having beaten Switzerland last weekend and they are up against a Swedish team who are making a return to test rugby after six year away. They played and beat Finland in the last round.

Spain are also in action -  playing a game against the Occitanie XV  - a representative French side.

The weekend makes way for further action in other parts of the world.  On Monday the Oceania Championship takes place with sides including Samoa and Papau New Guinea taking on Fiji, Tonga and the A teams from New Zealand and Australia, while in the middle of next week the USA will take on Canada.

All the fixtures can be found here.