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Wins for England A and France A.


England A beat the all-star Nomads team in Esher for the first time in three years with a 12-10 victory in an entertaining game.

The victory was an important one for the second string England side who were hammered in their last outing against New Zealand in November and who were facing a Nomads team full of experienced players from a range of nations including ex-England captain Sue Day and England's Selena Rudge and Shelley Rae.

The watching England head coach Gary Street will have been pleased with the form shown by some of the 'A' players especially out wide where Fran Matthews and Abigail Chamberlain in particular were impressive.

England A had to be patient in the opening half as the Nomads ran everything and put them under pressure in the tight exchanges where Deena Aiken and Laura Jenkins were prominent.

After half an hour the first score game from the home nation as Georgina Roberts linked up with Matthews and quick recycling allowed Worcester prop Laura Keates to cross in the corner.

The Nomads got it back to 5-5 at the break after a period of concerted pressure on England's line. The pressure paid off with Elisha Dee driving over the line to beat England's defence.

England A were lively again after the break and with captain Sonia Greene leading from the front with super work at the line-out and some solid tackles and her team scored again after a great Matthews break saw her cross the line. Chamberlain converted to take England into a 12-5 lead.

The Nomads were forced on the defensive for much of the second half with Jackie Shiels making some good last ditch tackles out wide and Aiken also chipping in with some solid hits.

England continued to apply the pressure but eventually the Nomads turned the tables and put pressure on England's line instead and after several phases of play Henrietta Hegberg crossed in the corner.

The Nomads missed the conversion with five minutes to go England took the 12-10 victory.

France A beat their Scottish counterparts

Meanwhile Scotland A went down 26-3 to France A at Lasswade in their game.

The teams ran out into thick mist which obscured much of the game to many of the crowd during the match. France made the first break though the Scots registered the first score, a penalty after 14 minutes from Nicola Halfpenny.

France responded with a try four minutes later, from Celine Allainmat and another six minutes later, from Cathy Langenfeld, the latter converted, to register a half-time score of 3-12.

A converted try soon after the restart from Fanny Griselin and Celine Allainmat was followed, ten minutes later, by a repeat performance by the duo. Despite gusty performances from the home side, the game was effectively beyond Scotland's reach.