England Women: Sadia Kabeya and Heather Cowell set for Red Roses bows against Canada | Rugby Union News

Loughborough Lightning flanker Sadia Kabeya and Harlequins winger Heather Cowell are both named in the starting line-up to face Canada in Sunday’s women’s international at the Twickenham Stoop

Last Updated: 12/11/21 12:32pm

Heather Cowell is one of two players set to win their first England cap on Sunday

Heather Cowell is one of two players set to win their first England cap on Sunday

Sadia Kabeya and Heather Cowell are set to earn their first Test caps after being named in the starting XV for England’s match against Canada on Sunday.

Harlequins winger Cowell is in line to make her international bow at the club’s home of the Twickenham Stoop, where the Red Roses are aiming to build on the back-to-back wins over New Zealand.

Loughborough Lightning flanker Kabeya also comes into the team for her debut in the clash with the Canadians and head coach Simon Middleton is excited to see what the duo can do.

“We’re delighted to give two players their first caps,” Middleton said. “Sadia has been brilliant since she came into camp in pre-season; she’s a fantastic athlete and someone we’ve been aware of for a long time.

“A winger’s job is to score tries and Heather Cowell does just that. The way she goes about her business is brilliant. Both players deserve their starts.”

Elsewhere, there is a return to the starting line-up for captain Sarah Hunter on the other flank, while Hannah Botterman returns to the front row at loosehead prop alongside last week’s hat-trick scorer Amy Cokayne and Sarah Bern.

There is a first start of the autumn for full-back Sarah McKenna too, while Lagi Tuima and Claudia MacDonald get starts at outside centre and scrum-half respectively after featuring off the replacements bench in last week’s record 56-15 win over New Zealand.

Red Roses go back to back against Black Ferns

A hat-trick from Amy Cokayne helped England to a 56-15 win over New Zealand in Sunday’s clash in Northampton.

It will be a special day for forwards Abbie Ward and Poppy Cleall too as the pair reach the milestone of 50 international caps.

“Abbie and Poppy have been an integral part of our squad for a number of years and we’re looking forward to celebrating and acknowledging their 50th caps at The Stoop,” Middleton said.

Red Roses team to face Canada

England: 15 Sarah McKenna; 14 Heather Cowell, 13 Lagi Tuima, 12 Helena Rowland, 11 Abby Dow; 10 Zoe Harrison, 9 Claudia MacDonald; 1 Hannah Botterman, 2 Amy Cokayne, 3 Sarah Bern, 4 Zoe Aldcroft, 5 Abbie Ward, 6 Sarah Hunter (c), 7 Sadia Kabeya, 8 Poppy Cleall.

Replacements: 16 Lark Davies, 17 Vickii Cornborough, 18 Maud Muir, 19 Harriet Millar-Mills, 20 Alex Matthews, 21 Marlie Packer, 22 Leanne Infante, 23 Holly Aitchison.

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