England’s undefeated captain Sarah Hunter as she bid for the Grand Slam

England Women without injured captain Sarah Hunter as they bid for Grand Slam

Captain Sarah Hunter has been ruled out of Sunday’s England final against Italy with a hamstring injury.

The Red Rose, who were crowned champions when France were held to a 13-13 draw in Scotland on Sunday afternoon, are heading for a second straight Grand Slam later this week.

Center will lead the team in the absence of Emily Scott Hunter, while Flanker Marley Packer is out after nine months and Abby Ward is back after 11 months.

Head coach Simon Middleton said: “We are naturally disappointed. Sarah Hunter has been denied but we feel good that she is out of it to recover. We have a big year and we must play long games. ”

Lobbro Lightning forwards Datisha Harper and Morwana Talling have been added to the Middleton squad after making their senior appearances earlier this year, while Eli Kildoon and Alex Mathews have been added after impressing with seventh and Helena Rowland The first cap is in line to win.

He continued: “Morvena Tailing is the man who has been in and around the team last season. He is a high-intensity player and fits perfectly with how we want to play.

“The players who came back from the seventh have done very well in the opening round of the Allianz Premier 15 and we are waiting to see how Eli, Alex and Helena will play this week.

“The return of Abby Ward and Marley Packer is a huge benefit for us. They are very experienced and talented players. This is great preparation for the match again and we can’t wait to get on the field. ”

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