Feaunati, Hanlon and Laflin make England squad for Women’s Six Nations | England women’s rugby union team

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England have named three uncapped players in their squad for the ­Women’s Six Nations with the ­Exeter pair ­Maddie Feaunati and Lizzie Hanlon joining Vicky Laflin of Ealing ­Trailfinders as new faces.

John Mitchell’s 35-strong group also includes Zoe Harrison, Emily Scarratt and Abbie Ward, who all ­feature in an England tournament squad for the first time since the loss to New Zealand in the 2022 Rugby World Cup final.

Scarratt, 34, last month returned for her club Loughborough Lightning after 13 months out following neck surgery.

Marlie Packer, the Saracens flanker, will continue to lead the side and is expected to win her 100th cap when England begin their campaign with a trip to Italy on 24 March. The Red Roses will be looking to win a sixth consecutive Six Nations title and fifth straight grand slam after their successful campaign under Simon Middleton in 2023.

However, they are missing Sarah Bern, Claudia MacDonald and Nancy McGillivray, who all miss out due to injury.

Mitchell, who takes the reins for the first time, said: “We have named a squad where competition for a place in the match day 23 exists in every position. The Red Roses have excelled in this tournament for a long time. There is a hunger to stay the best, but we must earn the right to win Test matches. We are focused on ­improving performance and putting teams under more pressure to create a variety of scoring opportunities.

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“There is a great excitement around the group, and we are ­relishing the challenge of the next seven weeks.”

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