After drawing the series 1-1 last season, France's U20 team were back on form last weekend with a strong performance in Strasbourg and will be aiming to complete their series win at Newbury on Saturday. With 15 wins and a draw in 18 meetings this is a fixture France expect to win.
England U20 head coach Jo Yapp has named an unchanged starting XV for the side’s second clash against France Women U20 on Saturday 16 March, KO 2.30pm in Newbury.
After last year’s historic win in France, England’s 31-12 defeat in Strasbourg was a return to “normal” in this fixture. England have only beaten France at home once – back in 2011.
Yapp has made three changes to the bench with Loughborough Lightning centre Ellen Ramsbottom receiving her first call-up for England Women U20 and Bristol Bears duo Florence Long and Ebony Jeffries also being named as finishers.
Bristol Bears centre Pheobe Murray will captain the side and will be accompanied by vice-captain Amelia Harper who is named as open-side flanker.
“Despite the result not going our way last weekend I’m really pleased with how the squad have come together this week, analysed our game and identified where we need to improve to build on our performance this weekend,” said Yapp. “I’m looking forward to seeing how these learnings will be implemented on Saturday which will enable the players to demonstrate what they are capable of.”
The French coaching team, lead by Hélène Ezanno with Laurent Delpech (forwards) and Elodie Poublan (backs), have made two changes to its starting XV. Axelle Berthoumieu has been called by the senior team to due to Romane Menager’s suspension and is replaced by Lauryne Cheze in back row, while in the front row Suzie Brozda gives way to July Bernard.
England U20: 1. Akina Gondwe (Worcester Valkyries/University of Worcester); 2. Bryony Field (Loughborough Lightning/Loughborough College); 3. Detysha Harper (Firwood Waterloo Ladies/Manchester Metropolitan University); 4. Iona Antwis (Gloucester-Hartpury/Hartpury Collee); 5. Hollie Cunningham (Bristol Bears/Exeter University); 6. Cara Brincat (Worcester Valkyries/University of Worcester); 7. Amelia Harper (Loughborough Lightning/Loughborough College); 8. Anya Richmond (Loughborough Lightning/Loughborough College) ; 10. Ellie Green (Harlequins Ladies/Reigate Grammar School); 9. Megan Davey (Loughborough Lightning/Loughborough University); 11. Cara Clarke (Worcester Valkyries/University of Bath); 12. Megan Varley (Worcester Valkyries/Coventry University); 13. Pheobe Murray (Bristol Bears/University of Bristol); 14. Merryn Doidge (Bristol Bears/Exeter College); 15. Carys Cox (Worcester Valkyries/Cardiff Metropolitan University)
16. Charlie Budge (Bristol Bears/University of Exeter); 17. Florence Long (Bristol Bears/SGS College Filton); 18. Jessica Thomas (Bristol Bears/University of Exeter); 19. Ebony Jeffries (Bristol Bears/University of Exeter); 20. Eleanor Febrey (Gloucester Hartpury/Hartpury College); 21. Jodie Mallard (Loughborough Lightning/Loughborough College); 22. Lucie Skuse (Bristol Bears); 23. Ellen Ramsbottom (Loughborough Lightning/Loughborough College)
France U20: 1 July Bernard (Lille Metropole RC Villeneuvois); 2 Maya Lespielle (As Bayonnaise); 3 Lorette Jacquot (Lille Metropole RC Villeneuvois); 4 Manae Feleu (Oneliki Rugby Club); 5 Mabinty Sylla (Blagnac Rugby Feminin); 6 Lauryne Cheze (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin); 7 Charlotte Escudero (Rugby Club La Valette Le Revest La Garde Le Pradet); 8 Khoudedia Cissokho (A C Bobigny 93 Rugby); 9 Alizée Foure (L'Ovalie Caennaise); 10 Carla Arbez (As Bayonnaise); 11 Marie-Aurélie Castel (Stade Rennais Rugby); 12 Mélissa Bergeron (Stade Rennais Rugby); 13 Charlotte Rufas© (Stade Toulousain Rugby); 14 Océane Buisson (Rugby Clermont La Plaine); 15 Emilie Boulard (RC Chilly Mazarin)
16 Yllana Brosseau (Ac Bobigny 93 Rugby); 17 Manon Leduc (Rugby Feminin Dijon Bourgogne); 18 Manon Pujol (Stade Toulousain Rugby); 19 Estelle Carpentier (FC Grenoble Amazones); 20 Célia Roue (Montpellier RC); 21 Salomé Maran (FC Grenoble Amazones); 22 Meline Puech (Blagnac Rugby Feminin); 23 Alice Muller (FC Grenoble Amazones)