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Women’s Six Nations 2024: Marlie Packer returns to England starting XV against Ireland

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, Marlie Packer has scored two tries this Women’s Six Nations

Women’s Six Nations: England v Ireland

Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 20 April Kick-off: 14:15 BST

Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and online; text commentary, highlights and report on BBC Sport website and app.

Captain Marlie Packer returns to the England starting XV for the Women’s Six Nations game against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

The flanker was selected among the replacements by head coach John Mitchell for his side’s victory over Scotland on Saturday.

The 34-year-old, who scored off the bench in Edinburgh, is one of two changes.

With hooker Amy Cokayne suspended, Lark Atkin-Davies comes back into the side.

Cokayne is serving a one-match ban after receiving two yellow cards at the weekend to become England’s second player to be sent off in this year’s tournament.

Loughborough Lightning centre Emily Scarratt could make her first appearance since England’s opening win over Italy after being named on the bench instead of fly-half Zoe Harrison.

Zoe Aldcroft captained the Red Roses in Edinburgh from blind-side flanker and with Packer’s return moves back to the second row.

This switch means lock Abbie Ward misses out completely as Sale’s Morwenna Talling comes on to the bench for potentially her first Six Nations appearance.

The backline remains the same for the third match in a row after the back three of Jess Breach, Abby Dow and Ellie Kildunne scored five of England’s eight tries last time out.

A crowd of more than 45,000 is expected at Twickenham against former England assistant coach Scott Bemand’s side.

Ireland are looking to build on their impressive 36-5 win over Wales in Cork last weekend and also make two changes to their starting XV, with co-captain Sam Monaghan not included in the matchday squad.

“We are excited for the opportunity of another crack at Twickenham in front of our awesome fans,” Mitchell said.

“We want to continue to get better in our game and make the most of the experience to benefit us in the future.”

The Red Roses are aiming to stay on course to secure a third successive Grand Slam and a sixth successive Six Nations title, with 17 of the 23 on Saturday involved in last year’s Grand Slam-deciding Twickenham victory over France.

Line-ups

England: Kildunne; Dow, Jones, Heard, Breach; Aitchison, Hunt; Botterman, Atkin-Davies, Muir, Aldcroft, Galligan, Kabeya, Packer (capt), Matthews.

Replacements: Powell, Carson, Clifford, Talling, Feaunati, L Packer, Scarratt, Gregson.

Ireland: Delany; Corrigan, Higgins, Dalton, Parsons; O’Brien, Reilly; Djougang, Jones, Haney; Wall, O’Connor, Wafer, McMahon, Hogan.

Replacements: Moloney, O’Dowd, McGrath, Tuite, Ikahihifo, Scuffil-McCabe, Breen, Deely.

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