With the Six Nations kicking off in earnest on Saturday 3 February, six Loughborough Lightning Rugby players have been named in their respective international squads for the opening round.
Lightning Player-Coach Sarah Hunter will captain the England side once again, as they prepare to defend their title after becoming Grand Slam Champions in 2017. Also joining her as part of the England squad is Charlotte Pearce, who will look to make an impact from the bench.
Pearce will be aiming to make her international debut this weekend having regularly featured in England’s training camps throughout the 2017/18 season so far. Having formalised her place in the squad as a newly appointed EPS Player in September 2017, England Head Coach Simon Middleton commented:
“We are delighted to name Charlotte as part of the EPS squad. She has earned her position through impressive performances, week in, week out in the Tyrrells Premier 15s. Charlotte fits the bill in terms of the type of player we are looking to develop. She is dynamic, abrasive and will bring energy and edge to our squad.”
England travel to Italy for their opening game on Sunday 4th February, which is a 17:30 GMT kick off, live on Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix.
Meanwhile donning the navy blue of Scotland will be no fewer than four Lightning players, with Lightning skipper Rachel Malcolm starting at hooker. Joining her in the 15 are Sarah Bonar and Jenny Maxwell, who start at number eight and nine respectively, whilst forward Mags Lowish has been named as a replacement.
Speaking of Lightning’s strong presence in this weekend’s openers, Head Coach Rhys Edwards was thrilled to see so many of the girls selected;
“Having established the programme this year it’s great to see players progressing to international rugby. Being able to support the likes of Sarah as England captain and allowing her to continue to develop, as well as seeing Charlotte significantly enhance her game and be rewarded with selection is great for us at Loughborough. Having 4 players involved with Scotland is also testament to their development and to see 3 starting is fantastic. It’s great to be able to support these player, and others on their journey to International rugby.”
Scotland travel to Wales for their first game of the tournament, which will take place on Friday 2nd February at 18.00 at Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay.