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Your News England Women's Elite Squad named

England Womens Head Coach Gary Street has today (Tuesday) named his England Elite squad for the new season.

After finishing second in the Womens Rugby World Cup last month, England are now on the first of a new four year development cycle leading up to the 2014 World Cup and because of this Street has named a squad mixed with experience and youth.

All but two of the 26-woman world cup squad are still in the elite squad of 44. Sarah Beale and Amber Penrith, who both featured in the world cup final against New Zealand, have both decided to step down and take some time out from rugby.

However, there are also nine new faces in the squad, all of whom have played for the England Under 20s squad. In comes Marlie Packer and Natasha Hunt who have already played England A rugby, while the likes of Stacey Maguire and Kay Wilson will be players to watch for the future. Katy Storie, who played in the 2006 world cup, is the only player from last years elite squad to retire.

Street said: We are fortunate that our world cup squad was relatively young and we havent had many retirements so we have stability and experience here. However, this squad is all about development and looking to the future. We cannot just think about this season and that is why we are giving players who we think could be major international players in the future a chance now. We think its important to take the opportunity to accelerate their development now rather than leaving it for a couple of years even if they dont make an immediate impact.

England will this season compete to defend their RBS 6 Nations grand slam crown, a tournament theyve won for the last five years, while England A will also be in action against the Nomads, Spain and compete in the European Trophy. The squads captains will be announced in January.

Obviously the world cup defeat still hurts desperately but we are not here to sit and wallow, added Street. We are looking ahead. This season is a new challenge and we need to keep improving.

The RBS 6 Nations and the Nations Cup will be our major tournaments this season and we are really looking forward to them. After the profile the world cup created for us we are expecting more people to take an interest in these tournaments than ever before so well be going out there to defend our titles. At the same time, it will be all about laying new foundations for the future.

England Elite squad 2010/2011

ClaireAllan Richmond Centre

Margaret Alphonsi Saracens Flanker

Charlotte Barras Saracens Wing

Rachael Burford Richmond Centre

Rowena Burnfield Richmond 2nd Row

Abigail Chamberlain Richmond Centre

Rochelle Clark Worcester Prop

Emma Croker Richmond Hooker

Rosemarie Crowley Lichfield Prop

Rebecca EssexRichmond 2nd Row

* Hannah Field Wasps Flanker

Heather FisherWorcester Flanker

* Victoria Fleetwood Lichfield Hooker

Amy Garnett Saracens Hooker

Sophie Hemming BristolProp

* Natasha Hunt Lichfield Scrum Half

SarahHunter Lichfield Flanker

KarenJonesWorcester Flanker

Laura Keates Worcester Prop

Jane Leonard Lichfield Flanker

* Stacey Maguire Lichfield 2nd Row

* Charlotte Male BristolProp

La Toya Mason Wasps Scrum Half

Francesca Matthews Richmond Wing

Joanna McGilchrist Wasps 2nd Row

* Sarah McKenna Old Albanians Fly Half

Katy McLean Darlington Mowden Park Fly Half

Katherine Merchant Worcester Wing

* Isobel Noel Smith BristolFlanker

Kimberley Oliver BristolFly Half

* Marlie Packer BristolFlanker

Fiona Pocock Richmond Full Back

Olivia PooreWasps Hooker

ClairePurdyWasps Prop

Alice Richardson Richmond Centre

Georgina Roberts Darlington Mowden Park Centre

Georgina Rozario Lichfield Scrum Half

Emily Scarratt Lichfield Centre

Catherine Spencer BristolNumber 8

Michaela Staniford Wasps Wing

Tamara TaylorDarlington Mowden Park 2nd Row

Amy Turner Richmond Hooker

Danielle Waterman Worcester Full Back

* Kay Wilson Richmond Full Back

* Denotes new squad member

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