England Women back in training by end of the month

By Sara OrchardBBC Sport
Katy Daley-McLean
Katy Daley-McLean was among the scorers in England's last game - against Wales in the Six Nations on 7 March

All of the England Women's squad will be back in 'stage one training' by the end of next week.

Some players have already returned - four months after the season was suspended because of coronavirus - and the rest will resume by 31 July.

Stage one involves non-contact group training on a socially distanced basis.

The Rugby Football Union is working on rescheduling international fixtures for November, including the incomplete Six Nations, which was halted in March.

"We're working really hard to try and look at the option of completing the tournament," said the RFU's head of women's performance Nicky Ponsford.

"And there's a whole range of different things that need to be put in place to allow that to happen - not least that every country is in a position to take part.

"Either way, we are looking at ideally being able to play France, home and away."

Those two matches will be seen as important preparation before the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand.

"This summer was always earmarked as a key summer for us building into the World Cup, so it's been really important to try and get those players back into back into training," said Ponsford.

"They're not necessarily training full-time at the moment, but we are working to make sure that they are getting consistent input throughout the week."

England's Red Roses last played in March, when they beat Wales 66-7 in their fourth Six Nations match of 2020.

They have only Italy left to play, but the Italians and Scotland still have three fixtures apiece left.

News on the resumption of England's top domestic women's competition - the Premier 15s - is expected in August.

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