McLean to captain England women live on Sky Sports
Katy Mclean will captain England when they kick off their Autumn International Series against France on Saturday
Last Updated: 05/11/13 10:56am
The Darlington Mowden Park Sharks' fly-half, who has 62 caps, takes over the captaincy from Sarah Hunter who has been ruled out of the two-match series due to injury.
Other absentees include Emily Scarratt, Katherine Merchant, Danielle Waterman and Heather Fisher all of whom will also miss the second game, against Canada on November 13.
One positive for England is the return of Saracen flanker Margaret Alphonsi in the starting line-up for the first time since March 2012.
Alphonsi teams up with Wasps' Marlie Packer and Richmond's Rebecca Essex in the backrow whilst Rochelle Clark will earn her 86th cap in the front row.
In the backs, there is a new wing combination with Ruth Laybourn and Claire Allan starting whilst Rachael Burford and Amber Reed form an experienced centre partnership.
England Head Coach Gary Street said: "We are heading into this Series with a handful of injuries but we've got an experienced pack and a lot of pace in our backline.
"Playing France is going to be a tough and physical game but I am also very excited about our flanker combination of Marlie Packer and Maggie Alphonsi. We've had some good results without Maggie but undoubtedly she adds quality through her experience and knowledge.
"Katy last captained England a year ago in our successful Autumn International Series against New Zealand and she brings a wealth of experience and quality both on and off the pitch."
England team v France: 15 Kay Wilson (Bristol), 14 Claire Allan (Richmond),13 Amber Reed (Bristol), 12 Rachael Burford (Thurrock), 11 Ruth Laybourn(Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 10 Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) (c), 9 La Toya Mason (Wasps)
1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester), 2 Emma Croker (Richmond), 3 Sophie Hemming(Bristol), 4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 5 Emily Braund (Lichfield), 6 Marlie Packer (Wasps), 7 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), 8 Rebecca Essex (Richmond)
Replacements: 16 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield), 17 Claire Purdy (Wasps),
18 Sasha Acheson (Bristol), 19 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens), 20 Harrier Millar-Mills (Lichfield), 21 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield), 22 Ceri Large (Worcester), 23 Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
England v France is live on Sky Sports 2HD on Saturday at 5pm