More to come from Red Roses – Middleton

England Women head coach Simon Middleton says there is improvement to come from his side after their 10-try win over Spain in the opening 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup match.

The defending champions scored four tries in the first half and six in the second in a 56-5 win over the Spanish at UCD Bowl in Dublin.

With 12 players making their World Cup debuts, Middleton said he was satisfied with the outcome.

“I think it was a typical World Cup opening game. Full credit to Spain as they never stopped coming at us with great energy and commitment and I think we’ll get that in every game.

"First half, I don’t think we matched their work rate and we made a few too many errors with the ball, we were a little bit too loose and a little bit impatient.

“In the second half we were much more patient and we talked about playing to our processes a little bit more, and working harder to stay within the plan and structure of what we were doing.

“Scoring 50 points with 10 tries is fantastic, so it is a great start for us but, as we’ve talked about in the circle at the end, that is exactly what it is, a start and there is plenty more to come.”

Wing options

Four of the 10 tries scored by the Red Roses were by wing Kay Wilson who took her tally to 32 tries in 47 appearances for England.

With Lydia Thompson on the other wing and Amy Wilson Hardy also competing for a position in the back three, Middleton believes he has some great options.

“We’ve got three out-and-out wingers with us and all three of them are world class,” he stated.

“Lydia and Kay have got an abundance of experience - Kay with a World Cup behind her and Lydia, unfortunately had to come home from the last World Cup, but was great for us in the Six Nations.

“Amy Wilson Hardy has come into the frame and done the same so we’re really confident whatever the combination looks like.”

Rotating the team

With England looking to regain the trophy they won three years ago in France, Middleton believes he will have to use all of his squad.

It is a four-day turnaround until England face Italy at Billings Park UCD on Sunday, followed by the USA in their final pool B game. "We’re confident in all of the squad so there will be changes."

“It is no secret that I intend playing every player in the first two games, so those that didn’t play today will play [against Italy],” said Middleton.

“We’re really confident with the combinations and the squad depth we’ve got. We’ve worked for the last three years putting it in place and now it’s about using it.

“You only have to look at the impact some of the young players had today like Sarah Bern, Zoe Aldcroft, Megan Jones. A lot of the young kids were terrific. We’re confident in all of the squad so there will be changes.”

Schedule Pool B
 
England 56-5 Spain
Wednesday 9 August, UCD Bowl, Dublin

England v Italy
Sunday 13 August – Billings Park UCD, Dublin (KO 2.30pm)
Live coverage ITV1 from 2pm

England v USA
Thursday 17 August - Billings Park UCD, Dublin (KO 2.30pm)
Live coverage ITV4 from 2pm


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