England’s Cokayne returns for Grand Slam decider

Home » England’s Cokayne returns for Grand Slam decider

Women’s Six Nations: France v England

Venue: Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux Date: Saturday, 27 April Kick-off: 16:45 BST

England make two injury-enforced changes to face France in their Grand Slam decider on Saturday in Bordeaux.

Hooker Amy Cokayne returns to the starting line-up from suspension to replace Lark Atkin-Davies, who injured her ankle in the victory over Ireland.

Sale’s Morwenna Talling retains her starting spot after lock Rosie Galligan was a late withdrawal against Ireland because of a thumb injury, with Abbie Ward back on the bench.

The Red Roses are aiming to win the Grand Slam for the third year in a row and record a sixth successive Women’s Six Nations title.

Cokayne missed England’s win over Ireland after being sent off for two yellow-card offences against Scotland.

The backline remains unchanged for the fourth match in a row, with centre Emily Scarratt again named as a replacement.

That means the lethal back three of Ellie Kildunne, Abby Dow and Jess Breach – which scored eight of England’s 14 tries against Ireland in front of 48,778 at Twickenham – retain their place.

Only five points separated England and France at Twickenham in front of a record women’s crowd of 58,498 last year, as the Red Roses secured another Grand Slam.

Other than a narrow victory over Scotland, France have won all their games in this year’s championship comfortably.

France make four changes to their starting XV which defeated Wales 40-0 in Cardiff, including the return of former captain Gaelle Hermet at flanker and lock Madoussou Fall, who has scored two tries in the competition.

Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux holds 34,462 and a large crowd is expected on Saturday.

“France will be buoyed by the fact they’re at home but we’re actually looking forward to embracing that challenge,” England head coach John Mitchell said.

“It’s another full-capacity stadium, which gives us energy too. That’s what drives the girls – they want to play in front of full capacity.”

The Red Roses are undefeated in 28 games in the competition, which is a record for consecutive wins by a side across both the men’s and women’s championships.

However, France are the last team to beat England in the competition, back in 2018.


France: Boulard; Grisez, Konde, Vernier, M Menager; Queyroi, Bourdon Sansus; Deshaye, Sochat, Khalfaoui, Feleu (capt), Fall, Escudero, Hermet, R Menager.

Replacements: Riffonneau, Mwayembe, Joyeux, Feleu, Gros, Chambon, Ciofani, Jacquet.

England: Kildunne; Dow, Jones, Heard, Breach; Aitchison, Hunt; Botterman, Cokayne, Muir, Aldcroft, Talling, Kabeya, M Packer (capt), Matthews.

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

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