England women handed full-time contracts

England Women head coach Simon Middleton has announced the Elite Player Squad (EPS) for the 2019 season.

The 35-player squad includes 28 full-time professionals, the first to be awarded in the 15s game by the Rugby Football Union.

The 28 contracts are supplemented by seven EPS agreements, with players who will come into camps and England training, but not the full-time programme.



Among the names announced are 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup winners Katy Daley-Mclean, who earned her 100th cap during the Quilter Internationals in November, long-time captain Sarah Hunter, Marlie Packer and Vicky Fleetwood. They are joined by 2017 World Cup finalists Sarah Bern, Rachael Burford, Vickii Cornborough, Abbie Scott and Lydia Thompson.

In addition, 2017 finalist Amy Cokayne will form part of the squad under an EPS agreement, allowing her to continue her commitments to the Royal Air Force alongside international rugby duties.

As announced last month, also bringing a wealth of experience are three players returning to 15s from the sevens programme, with 2014 World Cup winners and 2017 finalists Natasha Hunt and Emily Scarratt joining Jess Breach in the move back to the 15s setup.

England Women Elite Player Squad 2019

Forwards

Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury Womens RFC)
Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo Ladies)
Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears Women)
Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women)
Jo Brown (Loughborough Lightning)
Rowena Burnfield (Richmond FC)*
Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Ladies)
Bryony Cleall (Saracens Women)*
Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women)
Amy Cokayne (Wasps FC Ladies)*
Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies)
Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries)
Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens Women)
Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning)
Justine Lucas (Loughborough Lightning)
Cath O’ Donnell (Loughborough Lightning)
Marlie Packer (Saracens Women)
Ellena Perry (Saracens Women)*
Abbie Scott (Harlequins Ladies)

Backs

Jess Breach (Harlequins Ladies)
Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies)
Katy Daley-Mclean (Loughborough Lightning)
Abby Dow (Wasps FC Ladies)*
Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women)
Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury Womens RFC)
Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury Womens RFC)
Claudia Macdonald (Wasps FC Ladies)*
Sarah McKenna (Saracens Women)
Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies)
Emily Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning)
Emily Scott (Harlequins Ladies)*
Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury Womens RFC)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries)
Lagi Tuima (Bristol Bears Women)
Carys Williams (Loughborough Lightning)

* denotes EPS agreement

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