Women’s Six Nations 2024: England make seven changes for Wales game in Bristol

Megan Jones and Tatyana Heard are among seven changes for England who face Wales in the Women’s Six Nations at Bristol’s Ashton Gate on Saturday, writes BBC Sport.

Leicester’s Jones and Gloucester-Hartpury’s Heard form a new partnership at centre, while Emily Scarratt and the injured Helena Rowland are out.

Both played in last weekend’s 48-0 victory over Italy in Parma.

The Red Roses will play in front of their largest home crowd for a fixture not played at Twickenham.

“To have sold 18,000 tickets with two days to go until matchday shows the appetite for Red Roses rugby in this country,” said head coach John Mitchell.

Prior to the tournament Mitchell said he would rotate his squad and the 60-year-old remains true to his word.

“Tatyana [Heard] can win the gainline and that is one of her big strengths,” added Mitchell.

“Meg [Jones] is a little dynamo, she is quick, a triple threat and a huge competitor. They’ve played together before which I think is a good combination.”

He has also picked a new half-back pairing in Natasha Hunt and Holly Aitchison.

Lock Zoe Aldcroft retains her place in the starting XV and will win her 50th cap, while captain Marlie Packer, who made her 100th appearance in Italy, also starts.

Elsewhere in the pack, prop Maud Muir and second row Rosie Galligan start, with Alex Matthews promoted from the bench to number eight.

This comes after Sarah Beckett was given a three-week suspension following her red card against Italy for a dangerous clear-out.

The back three of Jess Breach, Abby Dow and Ellie Kildunne, who scored two tries in Parma, remain unchanged.

“Some returning players [against Italy] had difficult starts, but each of those players will get better and better,” Mitchell added.

Wales have made six changes after narrowly losing their opening game to Scotland in Cardiff last weekend, with scrum-half Sian Jones making her first start.

England are seeking a third successive Grand Slam and a sixth successive Six Nations title.

Line-ups

England: Kildunne; Dow, Jones, Heard, Breach; Aitchison, Hunt; Botterman, Atkin-Davies, Muir, Aldcroft, Galligan, Kabeya, Packer (capt), Matthews.

Replacements: Powell, Carson, Clifford, Ward, Feaunati, Packer, Harrison, Gregson.

Wales: Hesketh; Joyce, Jones, Lake, Cox; George, Jones; Pyrs, Phillips, Rose, Fleming, Evans, Williams, Callender, Lewis.

Replacements: Jones, Constable, Tuipulotu, John, Butchers, Bevan, Powell, Metcalfe.