Women’s Six Nations: England’s Red Roses make seven changes vs Wales, as Helena Rowland ruled out

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John Mitchell has made seven changes to the Red Roses side to face Wales in Round 2 of the Women’s Six Nations, with centre Helena Rowland ruled out. 

Rowland started the 48-0 win over Italy in Parma, completing the game after a leg knock during the Test, but is not fit enough to be involved against Wales at Ashton Gate due to a finger injury.

There are 18,000 tickets sold for Saturday’s clash in Bristol (kick-off 4.45pm), in a big boost for Mitchell and his squad, who are seeking a sixth Six Nations title win in a row, and third Grand Slam in succession.

The back-three remains the same as full-back Ellie Kildunne – player of the match in Round 1 – links up with wings Abby Dow and Jess Breach.

In addition to Rowland, Emily Scarratt is rested as she also drops out of midfield, with Megan Jones and Tatyana Heard coming in.

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Red Roses full-back Ellie Kildunne retains her place after a player of the match display in Round 1

Holly Aitchison replaces Zoe Harrison at fly-half, with the latter dropping to the bench, while Natasha Hunt comes in for Lucy Packer at scrum-half.

Loosehead prop Hannah Botterman, hooker Lark Atkin-Davies, lock Zoe Aldcroft, and back-rows Sadia Kabeya and Marlie Packer keep their places in the pack.

Tighthead prop Maud Muir, lock Rosie Galligan and No 8 Alex Matthews each come in to start, with the latter replacing Sarah Beckett after her early red card last week.

“It’s disappointing for Sarah [Beckett]. You get around and support your team-mates,” Mitchell said.

“She’ll get over it, she’s a strong person and now will have to present herself with good conditioning and be available for the France selection.

“She’s remaining in camp. We have plans in place for her to be available for France selection.”

Red Roses side to play Wales

Red Roses: 15 Ellie Kildunne, 14 Abby Dow, 13 Megan Jones, 12 Tatyana Heard, 11 Jess Breach, 10 Holly Aitchison, 9 Natasha Hunt; 1 Hannah Botterman, 2 Lark Atkin-Davies, 3 Maud Muir, 4 Zoe Aldcroft, 5 Rosie Galligan, 6 Sadia Kabeya, 7 Marlie Packer (c), 8 Alex Matthews.

Replacements: 16 Connie Powell, 17 Mackenzie Carson, 18 Kelsey Clifford, 19 Abbie Ward, 20 Maddie Feaunati, 21 Lucy Packer, 22 Zoe Harrison, 23 Sydney Gregson

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