Meet the Red Roses: the 32 players in England Women’s Six Nations squad - Page 3 of 4 - Ruck

Meet the Red Roses: the 32 players in England Women’s Six Nations squad

Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury Women, 16 caps)

The lock started playing rugby aged nine at Scarborough RFC where her brother Jonathan has also played. First capped by England in 2016, she was a part of the 2017 Rugby World Cup squad. Previously a student at Hartpury College, she signed for Gloucester-Hartpury from Darlington Mowden Park ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Fun fact: A former Hartpury College student, Zoe is sudying a course in applied science and exercise science.

Sarah Beckett (Harlequins Women, 13 caps)

The number eight  made her debut for Firwood Waterloo Ladies at just 18 years old but her sharp progress would have been of little surprise to those who know her well. She made her England debut in November 2018, starting in the Red Roses’ 57-5 defeat of USA Women at Allianz Park. n July 2019, she signed for Harlequins Women from Tyrrells Premier 15s side Firwood Waterloo ahead of the 2019/20 season.

Fun fact: Beckett is the sister of Gloucester and England U20 back row Charlie, while her father Mark represented Waterloo first XV as did her granddad and uncle.

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Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears Women, 31 caps)

After earning England U20 recognition in 2015, Bern stepped up to full Test level against France and the USA during the International Women’s Rugby Series in the USA in July 2016. She has since gone from strength to strength, becoming a regular starter for England in the front row.

Fun fact: She started her international career with England U20 as a back row forward, but has since converted to prop

Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women, 17 caps)

Her strong performances in the 2017/18 season, which culminated in her scoring the winning try in the Tyrrells Premier 15s final against Harlequins, earned her England selection for the first time. Botterman brought that form to the 2018/19 season with some barnstorming performances for both Saracens and England, playing an important role in both the Premier 15s title win and Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam.

Fun fact: The prop comes from strong sporting stock – her uncle, Gregg Botterman, represented England and made more than 100 appearances for Saracens and her aunt, Jane Everett, was also an England front rower. 

Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Women, 12 caps)

She dabbled in boxing and before rugby had already represented her country in discus, shot putt and hammer, competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in the latter. She’d be playing international rugby within two years of taking up the game.

Fun fact: She’s a fully qualified firefighter,

Rowena Burnfield (Richmond FC, 49 caps)

The 29-year-old has performed strongly as captain of Richmond, with those involved with her at club level labelling her “Martin Johnson-esque”, and has found her way back as an England starter.

Fun Fact: Her day job sees her milking and calving on a organic dairy farm 

Bryony Cleall (Saracens Women, 1 cap)

At the age of 17, she suffered a serious knee injury which prevented her from playing for five years, and it was not until she continued her education with a Masters at Exeter University in 2015 that she started playing under Jo Yapp, the former England scrum-half and captain. Cleall’s form in 2018/19 saw her earn her first England cap during the 2019 Women’s Six Nations.

Fun fact: She studied Sports Science and Geography at Loughborough University.

Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women, 36 caps)

Making her way through the England pathway with divisional and England U20 honours, Cleall was given her opportunity to step up to the senior international stage in 2016 when she made her debut, coming off the bench against Scotland in the Six Nations. She helped England to Six Nations Grand Slam glory in 2017 and 2019 and picked up a runners-up medal at the 2017 Rugby World Cup.

Fun fact: She was nominated for the Premiership Player of the Year Award in 2016.

Amy Cockayne (Harlequins Women/RAF, 46 caps)

Cokayne’s passion for the sport has been rekindled by Harlequins, who she joined in the summer after opting to make her comeback. Given the fact she is still only 23 and will hit 50 England caps next year, there was unsurprisingly a high level of interest in her services.

Fun fact: In 2017, she walked away from rugby for six months and joined the Royal Air Force.


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