"Packer's 100th Cap" - Red Roses Squad Named for Women's Six Nations Opener Against Italy - Ruck

“Packer’s 100th Cap” – Red Roses Squad Named for Women’s Six Nations Opener Against Italy

England head coach John Mitchell has named his first Red Roses squad for the 2024 Women’s Six Nations, with captain Marlie Packer set to make her 100th test match cap. Packer is set to become only the seventh woman to achieve a century of appearences for England, as the side travel out to Parma for their opening round match against Italy.

The Saracens back-row made her debut for her country back in 2008, and has recieved bountiful praise from the head coach Mitchell.

“Reaching 100 caps for your country is an awesome achievement,” He said.

Marlie Packer of England Women acknowledges the rugby fans after the autumn international match between England Women and New Zealand Women at Sandy Park on 31 Oct 2021. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

“Talking to Marlie about her journey, she has had to overcome adversity since her Test debut in 2008. What has been evident since I first met her is her determination to succeed has been ingrained in her over the past 16 years, helping her achieve she has in the game.

“She epitomises what it is to be a Red Rose.”

Zoe Harrison, Emily Scarratt and Abbie Ward all return to a Red Roses starting XV for the first time since the Rugby World Cup final in November 2022, whilst Kelsey Clifford is also in for her maiden Test match start.

Back-row Sadia Kabeya and scrum-half Lucy Packer appear in the squad after missing the inaugural WXV campaign due to injury. Amongst the replacements, Exeter Chiefs star Maddie Feaunati could make her Red Roses debut.

Marlie Packer, Captain of England Women celebrates with the Womens Six Nations Trophy during the TikTok Womens Six Nations Match between England Women and France Women at Twickenham, London on 29 April 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

“We are excited to get going in what is an awesome tournament,” Mitchell added.

“We are focused on improving our performance. We want to get quicker at our game, we want to create more pressure on the opposition, and we want to present attacking opportunities. Italy is our first opportunity to put into practice what we are aiming to achieve.”

Red Roses team to take on Italy

15 Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins, 38 caps)

14 Abby Dow (Trailfinders Women, 40 caps)

13 Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning, 28 caps)

12 Emily Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning, 108 caps)

11 Jess Breach (Saracens, 33 caps)

10 Zoe Harrison (Saracens, 46 caps)

9 Lucy Packer (Harlequins, 16 caps)

1 Hannah Botterman (Bristol Bears, 42 caps)

2 Lark Atkin-Davies (Bristol Bears, 54 caps)

3 Kelsey Clifford (Saracens, 3 caps)

4 Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury, 48 caps)

5 Abbie Ward (Bristol Bears, 61 caps)

6 Sadia Kabeya (Loughborough Lightning, 13 caps)

7 Marlie Packer (Saracens, 99 caps)

8 Sarah Beckett (Gloucester-Hartpury, 34 caps)


16 Connie Powell (Harlequins, 14 caps)

17 Mackenzie Carson (Gloucester-Hartpury, 10 caps)

18 Maud Muir (Gloucester-Hartpury, 25 caps)

19 Maddie Feaunati (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)

20 Alex Matthews (Gloucester-Hartpury, 62 caps)

21 Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury, 67 caps)

22 Holly Aitchison (Bristol Bears, 25 caps)

23 Megan Jones (Leicester Tigers, 16 caps)