VALKYRIES pair Lark Davies and Lydia Thompson have been named in England’s 28-strong squad for the Women’s Rugby Super Series in San Diego at the end of this month.
The squad, which assembled at Bisham Abbey on Monday (June 10), will be looking to build on this season’s Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam success and recent victory over Barbarians Women at Twickenham Stadium.
Valkyries captain and hooker Davies scored a hat-trick of tries against the Barbarians while wing Thompson made her England comeback having recovered from the injury that ruled her out of this season’s Six Nations.
Head coach Simon Middleton said: “I’ve been really pleased with how this new generation of Red Roses has been developing since January.
“We’ve been looking to continually improve our performance every time we take to the pitch, be that in training or a match, and we want to build on that as we complete our final preparations for San Diego.
“This camp and another one that we have next week are about focusing on ourselves. They will allow us to work on key areas and keep developing our game, as well as giving us the opportunity to reintegrate a number of players who are coming back after time out with injury.
Middleton added: “The Super Series promises to be a superb competition and a great challenge against high-quality opposition. It will provide us with perfect platform to see exactly where we are as a squad and just as crucially how far we still have to go in order to reach the levels we aspire to”.
“For us it’s about taking what we’ve worked on in training into matches and really looking to challenge our performances levels under the pressure of high calibre competition. It’s about taking our game to the next level.
“We’re going to find out a lot about this group of players as well. It will be an important experience for them and there will be a real test of character and resilience with some four-day turnarounds. The level at which we can repeat perform under pressure will ultimately tell us where we are as a group at this point.