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Venue: Kingston Park, Newcastle Date: Saturday, 25 March Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
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Former Canada prop Mackenzie Carson will make her England debut against Scotland in the Women’s Six Nations on Saturday.

The 24-year-old qualifies for England through her mother and switched countries through World Rugby’s birth-right transfer rules.

Sarah Hunter will co-captain England in her final match before retirement at Newcastle’s sold-out Kingston Park.

Holly Aitchison will start at fly-half, with Zoe Harrison out injured.

Aitchison takes the 10 shirt after Harrison tore her ACL in a season-ending injury and with Helena Rowland still recovering from a foot injury sustained at the 2022 World Cup.

Carson previously played against England in 2018 in one of three Canada caps she earned. She is eligible to join the Red Roses – who are chasing a fifth successive Women’s Six Nations title – after spending at least three years away from international rugby.

Carson fills a gap in the front row left because Vickii Cornborough is missing the tournament for personal reasons and Hannah Botterman is injured.

Middleton experiments after World Cup heartbreak

Head coach Simon Middleton – who will step down after the Women’s Six Nations – has brought in some fresh faces after his side narrowly lost the World Cup final to New Zealand.

Middleton’s experimentation is perhaps a reflection of the expected scoreline. Long-term professionals England beat Scotland, who received contracts last year, 57-5 in the 2022 Women’s Six Nations.

Aitchison is joined in the midfield by two players who did not make the World Cup squad. Amber Reed will start at 12 and Lagi Tuima at 13.

Uncapped scrum-half Ella Wyrwas awaits her debut from the bench as Lucy Packer starts, with the more experienced Leanne Infante left out and Natasha Hunt unable to make her England return because of a calf injury.

Lock Rosie Galligan will miss the tournament with a hamstring injury and Poppy Cleall starts in the second row, with Abbie Ward also absent after announcing her pregnancy.

England team to face Scotland

England: Dow; Breach, Tuima, Reed, MacDonald; Aitchison, Packer; Carson, Cokayne, Bern, Aldcroft, P Cleall, Kabeya, Packer (co-capt), Hunter (co-capt).

Replacements: Davies, Crake, Clifford, O’Donnell, Beckett, Wyrwas, Heard, Sing.

More to follow.

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