Women's Sport: England take on Wales at The Stoop in this weekend's fourth round of the Six Nations

The Red Roses will be looking to maintain another clean sheet when they line up to face bottom of the table side, Wales.

Welsh head coach Chris Horsman has stuck to his guns and kept his faith in a youthful side to take on title-holders England, who will be looking to stay on track for a consecutive Grand Slam.

Following a 19-13 win away in France, England beat their next opponents Scotland and Wales comfortably, 53-0 and 27-0. But head coach Simon Middleton has still opted to make five changes, most notably benching his captain Sarah Hunter and giving Sarah Beckett a start at No.8.

Emily Scarratt will captain the side taking on Wales in front of what is hoped to be a record-breaking crowd at The Stoop on Saturday. World Rugby’s player of the year has proven herself to be well-qualified for the role as England’s leading point scorer with 24 points.

The scorelines so far will be impressing England’s head coach, however, Simon Middleton says he is “disappointed”  an ankle injury to star player Jess Breach will keep her out of the “iconic fixture”.

“There’s been a fantastic effort across the board in terms of ticket sales and we know the crowd at the Stoop will create a wonderful atmosphere.

“We are really disappointed and upset to lose Jess (Breach) for our final two games. She’s an integral player for us and we all wish her a speedy recovery.”

Wales make two changes for The Stoop

Wales’ head coach Chris Horsman has made two changes to his side that lost 50-0 to France two weeks ago. Natalia John and Hannah Jones will come into the starting XV and replace Gwen Grabb and Megan Webb.

Horsman believes England will present a “huge challenge” to his side on Saturday as they are “one of the best teams in the world right now, if not the best”.

“We always knew this would be a challenging Championship and following a tough day against France, England will certainly be no easier. However, the girls are ready to test themselves again against the best, that’s what they want to do in order to improve ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

“We are fulfilling our aims of growing depth in the squad by exposing players to this level of the game.

Heading into Saturday, Wales will be hoping to keep a lid on England’s scoring and stop the Red Roses scoring over 50 points, something they have been unable to do so in the sides’ last three meetings.

Horsman’s pragmatic approach to his side’s clash with England is admirable, however, it is hard to imagine England losing this one.

The Teams

England Women: 15. Emily Scott, 14. Lydia Thompson, 13. Emily Scarratt (c), 12. Amber Reed, 11. Sarah McKenna, 10. Katy Daley-Mclean, 9. Leanne Riley; 1. Vickii Cornborough, 2. Amy Cokayne, 3. Shaunagh Brown, 4. Poppy Cleall, 5. Zoe Aldcroft, 6. Harriet Millar-Mills, 7. Vicky Fleetwood, 8. Sarah Beckett.

Replacements: 16. Heather Kerr, 17. Hannah Botterman, 18. Sarah Bern, 19. Sarah Hunter, 20. Amelia Harper, 21. Natasha Hunt, 22. Zoe Harrison, 23. Mia Venner

Wales Women: 15. Kayleigh Powell, 14. Lisa Neumann, 13. Hannah Jones, 12. Kerin Lake, 11. Caitlin Lewis, 10. Robyn Wilkins, 9. Keira Bevan; 1. Gwenllian Pyrs, 2. Kelsey Jones, 3. Cerys Hale, 4. Georgia Evans, 5. Natalia John, 6. Alisha Butchers, 7. Bethan Lewis, 8. Siwan Lillicrap (c)

Replacements: 16. Molly Kelly, 17. Cara Hope, 18. Ruth Lewis, 19. Gwen Crabb, 20. Robyn Lock, 21. Ffion Lewis, 22. Hannah Bluck, 23. Lleucu George

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