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Young English squad chosen for French clash

England have named a largely youthful looking side to take on France in their first game in their 4-match Autumn International Series against France on November 3 at Esher (6pm)


The 23-player squad is without the likes of regular skipper Katy McLean, who will be in action later this month in Sevens rugby for England for the first time, but has plenty of exprienced faces in the likes of Heather Fisher, Rowena Burnfield, Alice Richardson and Rochelle Clark while Lichfields Sarah Hunter (pictured) will captain England for this match, while Danielle Waterman is named as vice-captain.

Bristol centre Amber Reed is set to make her debut, while the likes of Kate Newton, Emily Braund, Ruth Laybourn, Fiona Davidson and Sally Tuson will be looking to build on the handful of caps they earned at last seasons European Cup.

Fisher, Jane Leonard, Claire Allan and Fran Matthews also all return to XVs action after lengthy injury lay-offs and will be looking to make a big impression against France ahead of the series against the Black Ferns.

Street said: This is very much an experimental squad though we still have a vast array of experienced players.

"Playing France is always tough so this is a great chance to test the mental strength of the younger players in a big game environment as we lead into the excitement of the New Zealand series. This squad has certainly been selected with one eye on playing the world champions.

"At the same time, playing France is also an opportunity to give game time to several players who are returning to XVs rugby after a long period out with injuries.

"Although the likes of Heather Fisher and Jane Leonard have been playing international sevens, they have not played XVs for quite some time so its great to have them back in the fold. Both are physical, powerful and exciting players that will bring a lot of impact, alongside Sarah Hunter, in our backrow."

England last played France in the European Cup final in May and the young side took a 29-25 victory. With England and France evenly matched with two wins each from last season, Novembers Test match is set to be a thriller.

Street added: "We relish playing France it is always a massive match and I am sure after their European Cup defeat theyll be smarting. They will come over here determined to put one over us on our turf, so this match will be a great challenge against one of our closest rivals."

England Women's Squad

Claire Allan (Richmond)
Emily Braund (Lichfield)
Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
Emma Croker (Richmond)
Rosemarie Crowley (Lichfield)
Fiona Davidson (Richmond)
Heather Fisher (Worcester)
Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
Sarah Hunter (C) (Lichfield)
Laura Keates (Worcester)
Ceri Large (Worcester)
Ruth Laybourn (Darlington)
Jane Leonard (Wasps)
Francesca Matthews (Richmond)
Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield)
Kate Newton (Bristol)
Isabelle Noel-Smith (Bristol)
Amber Reed (Bristol)
Alice Richardson (Richmond)
Sally Tuson (Bristol)
Danielle Waterman (VC) (Worcester)

England Women's Autumn International Series

Nov 3, 2012: England v France Esher RFC, KO 6pm

Nov 23, 2012: England v New Zealand Esher RFC, KO 7.30pm

Nov 27, 2012: England v New Zealand Aldershot Army Rugby Stadium, KO 7.30pm

Dec 1, 2012: England v New Zealand Twickenham Stadium , KO 5pm (Live on Sky Sports 1HD)

Tickets for Englands Autumn International Series are available now via Ticketmaster, priced at 10 for adults and 5 for Under 16s.

This excludes the England v New Zealand game at Twickenham on December 1 as there is free entry to the stadium.