Ireland host England in Women's Six Nations opener live on Sky Sports
Watch Ireland Women vs England Women on Friday, live on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Mix from 4.55pm #RiseWithUs
Last Updated: 01/02/19 4:36pm
England Women have named a strong match-day 23 for their opening Six Nations clash away to Ireland on Friday, live on Sky Sports.
The Red Roses get the 2019 Six Nations campaign underway at Energia Park, Donnybrook, live on Sky Sports Arena and SS Mix from 4.55pm.
With 108 international caps to her name, Sarah Hunter again captains the side starting at No 8, and is joined by fellow 2014 Rugby World Cup winners Katy Daley-Mclean, Emily Scarratt, Marlie Packer and Natasha Hunt.
2017 Women's Rugby World Cup finalist Sarah Bern starts at tighthead prop to make her first international appearance since the 2018 Six Nations. Poppy Cleall starts in the second row and her twin sister and Saracens team-mate Bryony will be looking for her first international cap having been named on the bench.
Also looking for her first England start from the bench is Saracens second row Rosie Galligan while Firwood Waterloo teenager Sarah Beckett, who made her England debut against USA in the Quilter Internationals, starts at flanker.
Wasps FC Ladies hooker Amy Cokayne is also named, having missed the autumn due to RAF commitments.
"We are looking forward to getting our Six Nations campaign underway and implementing some of the things we have been working on since the Quilter Internationals," said head coach Simon Middleton.
"It is great to have a number of players back in the squad from the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup, as well those newer names who have impressed through the season so far.
"This first game has come a week too soon for a couple of players but this gives us an opportunity to test others, and there were some tough calls over positions. Selection has been based on recent form.
"We know that conditions are likely to be testing in Dublin on Friday but we are looking forward to returning to Donnybrook, a ground we know well, having lifted the Six Nations Grand Slam there in 2017. Whatever the conditions, we will be focussed on the task in hand."
Ireland team: 15 Lauren Delany, 14 Eimear Considine, 13 Sene Naoupu, 12 Michelle Claffey, 11 Megan Williams, 10 Nicole Fowley, 9 Ailsa Hughes, 1 Laura Feely,2 Leah Lyons, 3 Fiona Reidy, 4 Aoife McDermott, 5 Nichola Fryday, 6 Juliet Short, 7 Claire Molloy, 8 Ciara Griffin.
Replacements: 16 Emma Hooban, 17 Linda Djougang, 18 Anne Marie O'Hora, 19 Anna Caplice, 20 Claire McLaughlin, 21 Kathryn Dane, 22 Ellen Murphy, 23 Alison Miller.
England team: 15 Sarah McKenna, 14 Jess Breach, 13 Emily Scarratt, 12 Tatyana Heard, 11 Kelly Smith, 10 Katy Daley-Mclean, 9 Leanne Riley; 1 Hannah Botterman, 2 Lark Davies, 3 Sarah Bern, 4 Catherine O'Donnell, 5 Poppy Cleall, 6 Sarah Beckett, 7 Marlie Packer, 8 Sarah Hunter (c).
Replacements: 16 Amy Cokayne, 17 Bryony Cleall, 18 Shaunagh Brown, 19 Rosie Galligan, 20 Rowena Burnfield, 21 Natasha Hunt, 22 Zoe Harrison, 23 Emily Scott.