PLYMOUTH’S Courtney Gill will make her first England start on Friday when they take on Canada in the opening match of the Women’s Rugby Super Series in Salt Lake City (10pm BST).
The former Eggbuckland Community College pupil will line-up in the second-row, alongside the highly-experienced Tamara Taylor, who has 91 caps for her country.
Gill, who now plays her club rugby for Worcester, will be making only her second appearances for England, with her first coming as a replacement against Scotland in this year’s Six Nations campaign.
England’s pack also includes former University of St Mark and St John student Rochelle Clark, who will be winning her 111 cap.
Lead coach Scott Bemand said: “The team have acclimatised well in Utah since arriving. The heat is an obvious factor to get used to but it is the same for everyone out here.
“We are looking forward to getting the first game underway. Canada will provide us with some tough opposition, as will France and the USA next week, but that is what we came for and what we need if we are going to develop and improve as a side.”
After playing Canada, England next face France on Tuesday, July 5, before playing USA on Saturday, July 9.
England Women match-day 23 v Canada
15 Katie Mason (Bristol) (10 caps)
14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester) (22 caps)
13. Millie Wood (Lichfield) (uncapped)
12. Ceri Large (Worcester) (47 caps)
11. Lotte Clapp (Saracens) (7 caps)
10. Amber Reed (Bristol) (29 caps)
9. La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park) (54 caps)
1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester) (110 caps)
2. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield) (13 caps)
3. Victoria Cornborough (Richmond) (14 caps)
4. Courtney Gill (Worcester) (1 cap)
5. Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park) (91 caps)
6. Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield) (31 caps)
7. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol) (17 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (Bristol) (78 caps) (c)
16 Lark Davies (Worcester) (1 cap)
17. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park) (6 caps)
18. Laura Keates (Worcester) (49 caps)
19. Alex Matthews (Richmond) (21 caps)
20. Poppy Leitch (Bristol) (3 caps)
21. Bianca Blackburn (Worcester) (13 caps)
22. Lauren Cattell (Saracens) (18 caps)
23. Fiona Pocock (Richmond) (26 caps)