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Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Wednesday, 9 February 2011

England Women make four personnel changes against Italy

Highlights: Wales Women 0-19 England Women

England Women have made six changes, two positional, to their pack for their second Six Nations match at home to Italy at Esher RFC on Saturday (1630).

Hooker Emma Croker and loose-head prop Claire Purdy come into the side with Rochelle Clark switched to tight-head.

Rowena Burnfield starts at lock and Heather Fisher comes in at flanker with Sarah Hunter moved to number eight.

Amy Garnett, Sophie Hemming, Rebecca Essex and Catherine Spencer drop to the bench after the 19-0 victory in Wales.

England ran in three tries and kept Wales scoreless at Cross Keys RFC, but head coach Gary Street is looking for an improvement.

Our win against Wales wasn't our best performance, but the most important thing was that we won

England captain Katy McLean

"As always we want to give our squad as much game time as possible and this is an opportunity for us to do that," Street said. "We have a strong squad, but we need to give them time on the pitch to prove what they can do. I am also pleased that we can welcome back Claire Purdy as she is raring to go.

"Italy are an ever-improving side and they had a good result against Ireland last weekend, staying close at half-time.

"They are always a tough gritty side and that is why we must make the step up on Saturday. I am looking for a real improvement, including in our attacking game and the quality of ball from the breakdown."

Captain Katy McLean added: "Our win against Wales wasn't our best performance, but the most important thing was that we won.

"Our intent to play was good but we struggled with the execution. With our backline staying the same against Italy, we hope to get some good ball out to the likes of Emily Scarratt, Fran Matthew, Kim Oliver, Kat Merchant and Danielle Waterman.

"Some of them didn't see the ball much on Sunday, but I know if they have the opportunity then they have a lot of potential."

England Women: Danielle Waterman (Worcester), Katherine Merchant (Worcester), Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), Kimberley Oliver (Bristol), Francesca Matthews (Richmond); Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks - capt), La Toya Mason (Wasps); Claire Purdy (Wasps), Emma Croker (Richmond), Rochelle Clark (Worcester), Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps), Rowena Burnfield (Richmond), Heather Fisher (Worcester), Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), Sarah Hunter (Lichfield).
Replacements: Amy Garnett (Saracens), Sophie Hemming (Bristol), Rebecca Essex (Richmond), Catherine Spencer (Bristol), Georgina Rozario (Lichfield), Rachael Burford (Richmond), Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks).

England's 2011 RBS Six Nations fixtures:

6 Feb: Wales 0-19 England

12 Feb: England v Italy (Esher RFC) 1630

27 Feb: England v France (Worcester RFC) 1305

13 Mar: England v Scotland (Twickenham Stadium, after men's Six Nations match) 1715

18 Mar: Ireland v England (Ashbourne RFC) 1930

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see also
Wales Women 0-19 England Women
06 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Matthews gets England Women call
27 Jan 11 |  English
McLean handed England captaincy
20 Jan 11 |  English
England Women retain Six Nations
19 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment

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