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Women's Six Nations 2024: Marley Packer makes her 100th cap in England's opener against Italy

Women's Six Nations 2024: Marley Packer makes her 100th cap in England's opener against Italy

video caption, 'It's amazing' – England captain Packer makes his 100th cap

Women's Six Nations: Italy v England

place: Sergio Lanfranchi Stadium, Parma date: Sunday 24 March Starting: 15:00 GMT

coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and online; Text comments, highlights and reports on the BBC Sport website and app.

Captain Marley Packer will win her 100th cap in England's Women's Six Nations opener against Italy on Sunday.

The 34-year-old made her debut for the Red Roses in 2008 and became the seventh woman to reach the milestone.

Fly-half Zoe Harrison, center Emily Scarratt and lock Abby Ward all return to the starting XV.

Loughborough Lightning's Scarratt starts in an unfamiliar role as an inside center despite having spent most of her 108-cap international career at the age of 13.

Bristol Bears' Ward returns to international rugby for the first time after the birth of her daughter last year, with Saracens' Harrison recovering from her long-term anterior cruciate ligament injury in time for the Six Nations.

The Red Roses won the Six Nations Grand Slam title last year and are aiming to win their sixth Six Nations title in a row.

“Talking to Marley about her journey, she has had to overcome adversity since her Test debut in 2008,” Red Roses coach John Mitchell said.

“What was clear from the time I first met her was that her determination to succeed has been ingrained in her over the past 16 years, helping her achieve what she has in the game.

“She embodies what it means to be a red rose.”

Exeter Chiefs back-rower Maddie Vionati, 21, could make her debut for the Red Roses after being named to the bench.

Mitchell added: “We are excited to participate in a great tournament. Italy is our first opportunity to implement what we aim to achieve.”

Lined up

England: Keldon. Dow, Roland, Scarratt, British; Harrison, packer; Puterman, Atkin-Davies, Clifford, Aldcroft, Ward, Capia, Packer, Beckett.

Replacements: Powell, Carson, Muir, Vionati, Matthews, Hunt, Aitchison, Jones.

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