Six Nations: Justine Lucas gets Twickenham nod to face France

PUBLISHED: 13:45 20 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:01 20 March 2015

Justine Lucas

Justine Lucas

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England prop retains place in side following try-scoring performance against Scotland

Justine Lucas has retained her place in the England starting XV to play France at Twickenham on Saturday evening, writes Damion Roberts.

The prop, who is from Baldock, will make her second start of this season’s Six Nations tournament just hours after the England men’s team take on their French counterparts at the same venue.

Lucas scored her first try for her country on Friday evening as England got back to winning ways with an eight-try 42-13 victory over Scotland at the Northern Echo Arena in Darlington.

After defeat to Ireland two weeks ago in Ashbourne, the world champions were in more convincing form against Scotland.

They still have an outside chance of winning this year’s competition and will hope to finish their campaign on a high this weekend against the defending Six Nations champions.

England acting head coach Nicola Ponsford said: “France will certainly be hurting from their defeat to Italy.

“They will have learned some important lessons but what Italy have shown is that if you take the game to the opposition any team in this Six Nations is beatable.

“Our focus will be to concentrate on our performance on Saturday and making sure we finish our Six Nations campaign on a high.

“The changes we have made to the pack will help us deliver the physicality we need up front against France while the inclusion of Amber Reed at centre will give us more experience in the midfield. ”

Sydney Gregson has been called up for the England Women U20 squad to play France at Esher RFC on Saturday.

Gregson, the former Letchworth Rugby Club player who is from Baldock, has been involved with the senior side during this year’s Six Nations competition, but will now hope to help the U20 side get revenge against a France outfit that beat them 25-0 last month.

Gregson, who plays for Bristol, will play at full-back meaning that Rachel Lund will move to centre.

Devon Holt also switches from scrum-half to wing, while Caity Mattinson returns from injury to wear the number nine shirt.

Head coach Jo Yapp said: “We were frustrated with our performance last time out against France.

“We didn’t stick to our game plan fully but when we got it right we looked strong.

“We must put that right this weekend, especially as France are very successful in broken field play. We need to be more savvy tactically in that area.”


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