Richmond Reinforced By Return Of Brown And Davies
Richmond welcome the undefeated Saracens Women to the Athletic Ground on Saturday evening in the next instalment of a fierce rivalry between the two London clubs.
After the Tyrrell’s Premier 15s took a break last weekend, Richmond are itching to take to the turf in South West London and look to end Saracens’ winning start to the season.
Head Coach David Mobbs-Smith has made several changes to the side that downed Worcester a fortnight ago and has had to deal with an international departure.
There has been a reshuffle in the pack owing to second row and captain Rowena Burnfield – who has started all four league matches to date this season – being named in Simon Middleton’s England training squad this week.
Claire Phelps and Fran Hall fill the void in the second row with Zoe Barber – who can also cover the front row – starting on the open side.
Becky Ball and Walaroo Chloe Butler make up an exciting back-row which sees Butler make her debut appearance in the Premier 15s.
Prop Laura Kapo takes over the captaincy in Burnfield’s absence and is joined by French skipper Gaelle Mignot and Victoria Meki in the front row.
Abi Chamberlain continues in the no 10 jersey and resumes her partnership with Charlotte Keane in the half-backs.
Among the replacements, Mobbs-Smith welcomes former Scotland skipper Susie Brown out of retirement and back to a Richmond match day 22.
Brown was enticed back to playing rugby with the announcement of the first ever Women’s Barbarians and will don the old gold, red and black of Richmond this weekend.
GB American Footballer, Oli Davies is another returnee on the bench. This week she has opted for rugby and with over 100 caps for the club will provide added experience to the squad.
Front row Morgan Simpson and second row Sian Hobday will bring added ballast to the pack when called upon with Steffi Clarke and Kirsty Lee Griffths covering the back division. Versatile Libby Povey completes the replacements.
Richmond could move above their rivals with a bonus-point win and – if that wasn’t incentive enough – a place in the top four would be cemented (for a week at least) with victory.
Mobbs-Smith is hopeful his side can prove their mettle come kick-off against their London rivals.
“The visit of undefeated Saracens riding high in the league brings a serious challenge for a settled Richmond squad,” said Mobbs-Smith.
We have two new faces on the bench, but former Scotland captain Susie Brown and GB American Footballer Oli Davies certainly aren’t new to Richmond.
We are confident the balance of the match day 22 will give Saracens a tough time come Saturday evening.”
Saracens Women name squad to face Richmond FC
Saracens Women have named their side to face Richmond FC at The Athletic Ground on Saturday for the fifth round of the Tyrrells Premier 15s, kick off 17h15
With several Saracens being called into the extended England training squad, Rob Cain has made four changes from the starting line up side that whitewashed Wasps a fortnight ago.
Eighteen year old Ella Wyrwas is handed a start at outside centre and partners with Nina Vistisen at inside centre. Lotte Clapp continues to captain the side from the wing with Rowan White at fullback and Garnet Mackinder on the opposite wing.
Harriet Austin returns from injury to take the blindside flanker jersey and will pack down in the backrow alongside England internationals Marlie Packer at openside flanker and Poppy Cleall at No.8. Sonia Green resumes her second row partnership with Valeria Fedrighi.
Speaking ahead of the match, head coach Rob Cain said:
“We are delighted for the girls that have been called into the training squad and they thoroughly deserve it following their form in the first four rounds of the Premier 15s. This gives us the opportunity to look at some new partnerships and give game time to several players that have been knocking on the door every week and making a real impact when they’ve been given the chance. It’s also an opportunity to test our strength and depth across the squad which is important given it’s a long season ahead.
We are looking forward to the challenge that Richmond will bring. They’ve had a solid start to the season and travelling to the Athletic Ground is never an easy task. Our job is to pick up from where we left off against Wasps and regain that momentum after the week’s break.”
|21/10/2017||5:15 pm||Premier 15s||2017-18|