CORNISH rugby player Merryn Doidge will start at full-back for England Women’s National Academy XV against Canada A at Cobham RFC on Wednesday (KO 7.30pm).
Doidge moving from the bench to the starting line-up is one of three changes the England side make after narrowly losing 25-24 to USA last week. The other changes see Detysha Harper replacing Bryony Cleall, who has been called into the Red Roses, at loosehead prop, and Olivia Jones (Loughborough Lightning) moving from full-back to right wing.
Bristol Bears winger Lilly Stoegar-Goddard, a student at Marjon University, is added to the bench, alongside Worcester Valkyries prop Akina Gondwe, Wasps FC Ladies back Lizzie Goulden and Darlington Mowden Park Sharks back-row Rianna Manson.
The squad combines a mix of England pathway players and more established names, and is again captained by Richmond FC lock Rowena Burnfield, one of five players with senior international experience.
England Women U20 Head Coach Jo Yapp takes over from Simon Middleton who will remain with the Red Roses during their preparations for their final Quilter Internationals Test against Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.
She said: “We are looking forward to building on last week’s very tight game against the USA Selects. Canada will bring a different challenge for this squad, but it will be another good test for them as a team and individuals.
“We enjoyed a great crowd at Newbury last week and hope to have the same atmosphere at Cobham again on Wednesday.”
England Women match-day 23
15. Merryn Doidge (Bristol Bears Women)*
14. Olivia Jones (Loughborough Lightning)
13. Shauna Bennett (Gloucester-Hartpury)*
12. Lauren Cattell (Saracens)**
11. Georgie Lingham (Saracens)
10. Ellie Green (Harlequins)*
9. Megan Davey (Loughborough Lightning)*
1. Detysha Harper (Firwood Waterloo Ladies)*
2. Clara Nielson (Bristol Bears Women)
3. Sasha Acheson (Gloucester-Hartpury)**
4. Rowena Burnfield (Richmond FC)** ©
5. Rosie Galligan (Saracens)
6. Katherine Hobson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
7. Poppy Leitch (Bristol Bears Women)**
8. Elizabeth Crake (Wasps FC Ladies)
16. Hannah West (Wasps FC Ladies)
17. Akina Gondwe (Worcester Valkyries)*
18. Chloe Edwards (Harlequins)
19. Amelia Buckland-Hurry (Bristol Bears Women)
20. Rianna Manson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
21. Caity Mattinson (Bristol Bears Women)**
22. Lizzie Goulden (Wasps FC Ladies)
23. Lily Stoegar-Goddard (Bristol Bears Women)
* England Women U20 2018/19 squad member
** England Women capped player
SEE SUNDAY’S PAPER FOR AN IN-DEPTH WOMEN’S RUGBY COLUMN