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11th Apr 2024

The 6 players to watch out for this Women’s Six Nations

Charlie Herbert

The 6 players to watch out for this Women's Six Nations

In partnership with O2

The 2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations is underway, as England aim to retain the Grand Slam title they won last year.

As the most successful team in the tournament’s history, and one of the best sides in the world, there are plenty of names to watch out for when the Red Roses are in action.

So, here are the six England players to keep an eye on this tournament.

Marlie Packer

The captain and leader of the team, Marlie Packer is a stalwart of this England side. Having taken over the captaincy from the legendary Sarah Hunter during last year’s championship, she guided England to a Grand Slam title.

This year’s Women’s Six Nations is the 34-year-old’s first full major tournament as captain though.

Marlie Packer is the England captain at this Women’s Six Nations

As the captain and one of the first names on the team sheet, there’s no doubt she’ll earn more appearances this year, and will be hoping that she’s lifting the Six Nations trophy once again come the end of April.

Playing her club rugby for Saracens, Packer earned her 100th England cap against Italy in the first game of this year’s championship, but that still doesn’t make her the most-capped player in this England team…

Emily Scarratt

Emily Scarratt is not just a legend of the England game – she’s a legend of the sport.

The 34-year-old centre’s glittering career has seen her win eight Women’s Six Nations titles and the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2014, and in 2019 she was named the World Player of the Year in the women’s game.

Emily Scarratt was named the World Player of the Year in 2019

With 109 caps to her name, she’s the most experienced player in the team and the fifth-most capped England women’s player of all time.

The 2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations marks her return to the national side after 13 months on the side lines following neck surgery, so all eyes will be on the Loughborough Lightning player to see how she copes with her return to international rugby.

There’s no doubt that her presence in the England team makes them a better side, and Scarratt will have a huge role to play in the Red Roses’ title defence.

Maddie Feaunati

If Packer and Scarratt represent the experienced heads of the Red Roses, Maddie Feaunati is at the other end of the spectrum.

Born in New Zealand, the 22-year-old has chosen to represent England at international level and made her debut for the Red Roses when she came off the bench against Italy in the opening game of this year’s tournament.

Maddie Feaunati earning her first England cap against Italy

Rugby’s in Feanuati’s blood as well, as her dad is former Samoa international and Bath No 8 Issac ‘Zac’ Feaunati.

A versatile player who can play at both No 8 – like her dad – or at flanker, Feaunati currently plies her trade at the Exeter Chiefs, and is sure to be a player that England fans see a lot more of in the coming weeks.

Abbie Ward

Bristol Bears’ Abbie Ward is another of England’s experienced players, having made her debut for the national team back in 2015.

With 63 caps to her name, Ward started the in the Women’s Rugby World Cup final in 2017.

However, this year’s Six Nations marks the lock’s return to the England team for the first time since the 2021 World Cup.

Ward took time away from the game to have a child, and welcomed her baby daughter Hallie in July last year.

Abbie Ward, centre, has returned to the England setup after taking time away from rugby to have a child

She made her return to the pitch in the Bears’ Premiership opener against Sale back in November, and is now back in the England set-up.

Ellie Kildunne

Ellie Kildunne burst onto the scene at the age of just 18 when she scored a try on her England debut in 2017.

Since then, she hasn’t looked back, scoring 25 tries in 40 games for the Red Roses.

Having also tried her hand at sevens, the Harlequins fullback was a key part of the squad that reached the final of the 2021 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and won the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2023.

Her 2024 tournament got off to a flying start, as she scored two tries in England’s 48-0 win over Italy in the opening game, before grabbing another in their 46-10 victory against Wales.

Ellie Kildunne already has three tries to her name in the 2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations

There’s no doubt you can expect to see the 24-year-old crossing the whitewash on a few more occasions over the coming weeks.

Tatyana Heard

Born in Italy – where her family lived for two years during her dad’s time in the US Army – Tatyana Aleese Heard has represented England since 2018 when she made her international debut for the side.

After suffering a devastating ACL injury at the age of 17, Heard was sidelined for 18 months and was cruelly denied the opportunity to impress for the England U20s.

But after some brilliant performances for Gloucester-Hartpury, where she still plays today, she earned a senior England call up in 2018.

Tatyana Heard was part of the England squad which reached the World Cup final in 2021

Since then, she’s gone on to make 18 appearances for England and was a member of the squad that finished runners-up to New Zealand at the 2021 World Cup.

Heard was included in England’s squad for this year’s Women’s Six Nations and will be keen to make her mark on the side as they search for Grand Slam glory once again.

Related links:

5 things to know ahead of England’s Grand Slam defence of the Women’s Six Nations