AN England National Women’s Academy side narrowly lost 25-24 to a United States Select XV at Newbury RFC on Tuesday.

England had gone 14-3 up with tries by tries from Saracens pair Bryony Cleall and Georgina Lingham both of which Ellie Green converted.

But the visitors fought back through scores from Evan Hoese as well as Joyce Taufa while Megan Foster added five points.

Ellie Underwood and Hoese traded tries, while Cortney Kuehl gave US a six-point lead but despite Hannah West’s late score was not enough to overturn the deficit.

The England squad combined a mix of pathway players and more established names and were captained by Richmond lock Rowena Burnfield, one of five players with senior international experience.

Bristol players Clara Nielson, Poppy Leitch, Amelia Buckland-Hurry, Rownita Marston, Caity Mattinson and Merryn Doidge, who is from Cornwall, were all involved.

England Women’s head coach Simon Middleton said: “I’m really proud of the girls. They’ve had one training session together and it’s been good to get them together.

“There were some really strong individual performances and collectively they came together well in periods during the game.

“We dominated the set piece, but US were slightly better conditioned that us and looked like they had played together more.

“We have a great pathway in place and the national academy bridges the gap between the U20s and the seniors.”
The development side next take on Canada Women A at Cobham RFC on Wednesday, November 21 (KO 7.30pm).

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