England women make adjustments for Six Nations grand slam crunch in France

first_imgEngland’s women will be in the Stade des Alpes on Saturday night knowing they have to take their game to new heights against a French side itching to avenge last summer’s World Cup semi-final defeat in Belfast.The meeting in Grenoble really is Le Crunch for two unbeaten teams harbouring grand slam ambitions. England have been imperious in the Six Nations so far, scoring an average of more than 45 points from their three matches but the head coach, Simon Middleton, is under no illusions. Topics Share via Email Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger England women’s rugby union team Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Rugby union Read more Share on LinkedIncenter_img news Share on Twitter Since you’re here… Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Reuse this content “Outside travelling to New Zealand this is the most difficult place to come and win,” he said. “It was always going to be the toughest game in the tournament and we’ll now find out what we are made of. I understand that the French have used the World Cup defeat as motivation but it’ll be how both teams execute their gameplans.”Middleton knows his side have great potential with a new breed in a potent backline, epitomised by the 18-year-old Ellie Kildunne, who has made a successful switch from the wing to full-back. Kildunne has left defences clutching at thin air in recent weeks, her second try against Wales last month a stunning individual effort.Middleton added: “Ellie is a fantastic talent at a very, very young age. She has a great all-round game with great pace that she knows how to use. This new breed of backs gives us a real attacking edge.”The return of the captain, Sarah Hunter, is one of five changes from the side that beat Scotland 43-8 in Glasgow a fortnight ago. Hunter is at No 8, alongside Poppy Cleall and Marlie Packer, the best back-row combination in the tournament, with Rachael Burford and Amber Reed forming a new centre partnership. Over 15,000 tickets have been sold for the match and France, 57-0 victors over Italy last time out, will test England’s mettle. Nolli Waterman: ‘I’m very driven – what I do after retiring must be challenging’ Women’s rugby unionlast_img

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