Bristol flanker Izzy Noel-Smith plays for England on Wednesday in their opening game of the Women’s Rugby World Cup, with the Roses looking stronger than ever and ready to defend their title.
Running from August 9-26 in Belfast and Dublin, the tournament normally runs on a four-year cycle but has been brought forward a year to ensure that it does not clash with the Commonwealth Games or the women’s Six Nations, both being held in 2018.
In the pool stages, England face Spain, the United States and Italy, who are making their first world cup appearance in 15 years.
England hold a significant advantage over each other side, as they are the only team that holds full-time contracts, and therefore have been training full-time this season.
Noel-Smith said on Twitter that she was “honoured” to be part of the squad.
Prince Harry also wished the team good luck, and expressed how important the team is to inspire more and more women to join the sport. Women’s rugby hopes to have 50,000 players by 2021.
Images courtesy of England Rugby facebook.
England vs Spain is at 2pm Wednesday 9th.
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