Undoubtedly one of the most decorated female rugby players of the moment, Sarah Hunter will captain the newly professionalised England side in the Six Nations as they look to reclaim the title back from France. In 2017 Sarah became one of the most capped England players of all time, reaching her 100th cap at Twickenham stoop against Canada.
Sarah’s leadership shines through not only at international level but at Loughborough too. Leading from the front, she helped Lightning win 8 from 8 in the first half of the season, and they now head into the season break in the top three of the Tyrrells Premier 15s.
Another England Rugby legend and member of the over 100 caps club is Katy Daley-Mclean. Not only dangerous with her boot but with lightning fast hands too, Katy has over 480 international points to her name, 42 of which she scored in the last Six Nations series. Turning her hand to Rugby 7s, Katy played a vital part of the GB Sevens squad that competed at Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Katy also plays a crucial part of the Lightning squad, bringing her wealth of knowledge and experience to a relatively young backline. Supplying the wingers with pin-point accurate cross field kicks and sucking in defenders with her footwork, Katy has had a hand in most of the tries scored this season.
Cath O’Donnell burst onto the international scene when she won her first cap for the Red Roses against Canada in November 2017. She was subsequently selected for last year’s Six Nations series and came off the bench to face Scotland and Ireland. It was not however till the autumn Quilter Internationals against Ireland that Cath scored her first international points, helping England secure the 37-15 win.
Currently studying for a master’s degree in Business Psychology at Loughborough University, Cath balances student life alongside rugby. She has firmly cemented her place in the Lightning starting line-up and poses an ever-present threat to any team that Lightning face. Cath scores tries that the backs would be jealous of and breaks tackles for fun on a weekly basis.
After captaining the GB Women’s Sevens squad at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games and securing a England bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Emily has returned to the 15s programme. Her return to the 15 a side game came in January when she was awarded a full-time contract and an opportunity to move back to her home county of Leicestershire.
Emily’s debut performance for Lightning was just last week against Worcester Valkyries where her international class shone through. We can’t wait to see what else she can do for Lightning when the season starts up again in March.
Playing with aggression, flair and scoring tries from her own 22 in the Tyrrells Premier 15s, it was no surprise that Cary Williams caught England Rugby’s eye. With her selection in the 2018 Quilter Internationals squad in November, Carys secured her first cap and international try against USA in the 80th minute.
One of Lightning’s top try scorers this season, Carys has been a rock in the backline. Making the 13 shirt her own, Carys’ leadership has shone through this season, taking a lead role in the defensive line and commanding the play in attack.
Back row forward Jo crashed into the international scene against Canada in November 2017 where she earned her first cap and international try. Following this debut, Jo was selected in the 2018 Quilter Internationals squad this November where she played against USA and Canada.
A frequent starter for Lightning, Jo has been fundamental in the defensive line and a strong ball carrier for the side. Scoring on many occasions, Jo will look to put her stamp on the game if selected for the Six Nations.
England Women 2019 Six Nations fixtures
Ireland v England
Friday 1 February, KO 5pm GMT - live Sky Sports Mix
Energia Park Donnybrook, Dublin
England v France
Sunday 10 February, KO 12.45pm GMT - live Sky Sports
Castle Park, Doncaster
Wales v England
Sunday 24 February, KO 12.30pm GMT – live Sky Sports
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
England v Italy
Saturday 9 March, KO 12.05pm GMT - live Sky Sports
Sandy Park, Exeter
England v Scotland
Saturday 16 March, KO 7.30pm (approx. – following the conclusion of the men’s game) - live Sky Sports