England Women’s head coach Simon Middleton has named his 32-player squad for the 2020 Women’s Six Nations.
Back row Harriet Millar-Mills, who has impressed for Wasps FC Ladies in the 2019/20 season following a 22-month injury lay-off, is selected and could represent her country for the first time since the 2017 Rugby World Cup final.
Richmond FC’s Rowena Burnfield also returns while Harlequins Women’s Vickii Cornborough is back in the squad after missing the Quilter internationals through injury. Both are in line to earn their 50th caps.
Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s Millie Wood is selected, alongside uncapped Loughborough Lightning youngsters Amelia Harper and Morwenna Talling.
Flanker Harper has nine caps for England U20s and 17-year-old Talling made her Tyrrells Premier 15s debut for Lightning against Saracens in October and has been part of England’s Talent Development Group.
Marlie Packer sustained an ankle injury requiring surgery in Saracens Women’s Tyrrells Premier 15s match last time out and will miss the tournament.
Long term absentees Cath O’Donnell and Lagi Tuima are ruled out as they continue their rehabilitation.
Middleton said: “We’ve named a squad that certainly reflects not only the immense experience in the English women’s game but also some of the outstanding young talent that we are now seeing emerge from the Tyrrells Premier 15s.
“It’s great to see Harriet Millar-Mills back in the fold. Before her injuries, she was probably playing the best rugby of her life. She’s a great athlete as well as a top quality player and will add real value and quality to this group.
“Row Burnfield has come back in. We always know we are going to get nothing less than 100% commitment with Row, she’s a fierce competitor, a physical player across the field with lots of energy which we are going to need in an attritional competition such as the Six Nations.
“Amelia Harper is an out-and-out seven. She’s fast across the ground and fearless in the contact, that’s exactly what you need from that position. We’re really excited about seeing her play.
“Morwenna Talling has come through the Talent Development Group and broke onto the Tyrrells Premier 15s scene this season. The impact Morwenna has made in the Tyrrells league this season is nothing short of remarkable and that’s why she’s been called up to the squad.
“The absence of Cath O’Donnell and Marlie Packer means there’s a potential shortfall in our work load that needs filling, Morwenna strikes me as one of the players who can fill that gap. Her work rate in both attack and defence and the quality of her involvements in the Tyrells this season has been second to none and that’s why she fully deserves her call-up.
“In terms of the overall squad, we are looking forward to seeing how this group, especially those who have emerged over the last 18 months, take the next step onto more senior roles and are pushing to be starters.
“We know we have a tough route in this year’s competition.
“We are missing some key players but know this presents a good opportunity for our wider squad who we have full belief in.
“We are looking forward to getting out to France which is always a great contest and starting our campaign in Pau.”
The Red Roses begin their campaign against France in Pau this weekend [Sunday 2 February, KO 1230 GMT, live on Sky One and Sky Sports Mix] before travelling to Glasgow to face Scotland [Sunday 10 February, KO 12.10pm GMT, live on Sky Sports Action and Mix].
Middleton’s side then return to Doncaster for a third time as they welcome Ireland [Sunday 23 February, KO 1245 GMT, live on Sky Sports Action] before taking on Wales at Harlequins’ Twickenham Stoop home [Saturday 7 March, KO 12.05pm GMT, live on Sky Sports Action and Mix].
The reigning champions then travel to an Italian side who finished runners-up last year as they head to Padova on Sunday 15 March [KO 1.30pm GMT, live on Sky Sports Action and Mix].
Jess Breach (Harlequins Women, 10 caps)
Katy Daly-McLean (Loughborough Lightning, 110 caps)
Abby Dow (Wasps FC Ladies, 9 caps)
Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women, 20 caps)
Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartpury Women, 50 caps)
Claudia Macdonald (Wasps FC Ladies, 8 caps)
Sarah McKenna (Saracens Women, 28 caps)
Amber Reed (Bristol Bears Women, 51 caps)
Leanne Riley (Harlequins Women, 34 caps)
Emily Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning, 85 caps)
Emily Scott (Harlequins Women, 35 caps)
Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury, 13 caps)
Lydia Thompson (Worcester Warriors Women, 45 caps)
Millie Wood (Gloucester-Hartpury, 8 caps)
Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury Women, 16 caps)
Sarah Beckett (Harlequins Women, 13 caps)
Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears Women, 31 caps)
Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women, 17 caps)
Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins Women, 12 caps)
Rowena Burnfield (Richmond FC, 49 caps)
Bryony Cleall (Saracens Women, 1 cap)
Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women, 36 caps)
Amy Cockayne (Harlequins Women/RAF, 46 caps)
Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Women, 49 caps)
Lark Davies (Loughborough Lightning, 22 caps)
Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens Women, 72 caps)
Amelia Harper (Loughborough Lightning, 0 caps)
Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning, 119 caps)
Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 22 caps)
Harriet Millar-Mills (Wasps FC Ladies, 51 caps)
Abbie Scott (Harlequins Women, 42 caps)
Morwenna Talling (Loughborough Lightning, 0 caps)