Katy Daley-Mclean will earn her 100th international cap for England against USA Women at Allianz Park on Friday.
Daley-Mclean captained England to victory in the 2014 Women’s World Cup before going on to represent Team GB in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The 32-year-old will start at fly-half in the first of three Quilter Internationals Tests in November.
England Women head coach Simon Middleton said: “Katy is one of the greatest women’s players ever.
England Women vs USA Women
November 9, 2018, 7:30pm
“It’s a remarkable achievement to get 100 caps for your country, especially considering she took time out in the sevens programme to represent Team GB in the Olympics.
“She has everything; an accomplished skillset, ability and a thorough understanding of the game. Katy is a great asset to England, a natural leader and an inspirational player. She knows how to inspire a team and is a great on-field motivator.”
Middleton has named four uncapped players in his starting XV to face the USA.
“Katy is one of the greatest women’s players ever.”
England Women head coach Simon Middleton
In the backs, centres Tatyana Heard and Carys Williams will start at No 12 and No 13 respectively, while Ellena Perry starts at loosehead prop and Sarah Beckett starts at No 8.
“We know where we are and there’s a lot of excitement among the squad to start a new international season,” said Middleton.
“We have new talent among the group who have developed their rugby through the pathway and Tyrrells Premier 15s and bring a mix of rugby backgrounds to the set up. It’s important to give players opportunities and there is a lot to play for.”
The side will be led by Harlequins’ Abbie Scott while Red Roses captain Sarah Hunter will be on the bench. Middleton says Scott is “a natural leader and a rugby-smart player” and believes she will do a great job on Friday night.
The USA played the Black Ferns on Sunday, losing 67-6 in their first game since the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals, but Middleton is not underestimating them.
“The USA is match-ready from their game against the Black Ferns and will be hardened and wiser for last weekend. Like them, we are ready and expect a tough game on Friday,” added Middleton.
Wasps FC Ladies wing Abby Dow has been ruled out of the three Tests through ankle injury, with Millie Wood (Gloucester-Hartpury) called into the wider squad as a replacement.
England: 15 Sarah McKenna (Saracens), 14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries), 13 Carys Williams (Loughborough Lightning), 12 Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury), 11 Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury), 10 Katy Daley-Mclean (Loughborough Lightning), 9 Leanne Riley (Harlequins); 1 Ellena Perry (Saracens), 2 Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries), 3 Shaunagh Brown (Harlequins), 4 Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury), 5 Abbie Scott (Harlequins)(C), 6 Joanna Brown (Loughborough Lightning), 7 Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens), 8 Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo)
Replacements: 16 Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 17 Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins), 18 Hannah Botterman (Saracens), 19 Catherine O’Donnell (Loughborough Lightning), 20 Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning), 21 Claudia Macdonald (Wasps FC Ladies), 22 Zoe Harrison (Saracens), 23 Lucy Attwood (Bristol Bears)
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