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England beat Barbarians in historic first meeting

England beat Barbarians in historic first meeting

Many Women’s Six Nations stars were on show as Grand Slam winners England returned to action with a historic first-ever meeting with Barbarians Women at Twickenham.

Lark Davies scored a hat-trick as the Red Roses ran in six tries to triumph 40-14 in their inaugural game against the Barbarians team, who were only established in 2017.

Hannah Botterman, Poppy Cleall and Kelly Smith also dotted down in England’s first game together since beating Scotland in the 2019 Women’s Six Nations to complete the clean sweep.

England opened the scoring after just a couple of minutes through hooker Davies, who benefitted from a powerful driving maul, before Zoe Harrison stepped up to convert.

The Red Roses continued to dominate both possession and territory in the early stages and soon had a second try when Botterman crashed over the whitewash from close range.

A quick break from Zoe Aldcroft then set up Cleall for a simple third try for the hosts, before Davies grabbed her second from a pick and go as Harrison’s conversion made it 28-0 at the break.

England appeared to have a fifth try shortly after the restart, only for Smith to see her brilliant individual effort disallowed for a forward pass in the build-up.

The reprieve prompted a mini-revival from the Barbarians, with Sene Naoupu breaking the defensive line and feeding Millie Wood – capped four times by England – to score.

Another Baa Baas try followed soon after when New Zealand’s Fiao’o Fa’amausili combined with England legend Danielle Waterman to race over the tryline untouched.

The Red Roses hit back once more through their forwards with a driving maul from a lineout, Davies controlling proceedings from the back to cross for her hat-trick.

A slick move then saw England finish with a flourish as Lagi Tuima’s looping pass found Smith, who finally scored her much-deserved try with a diving finish in the corner.

It was a clinical performance from SImon Middleton’s side as they continue their preparations for the Women’s Rugby Super Series, which will take place later this month.

England will take on New Zealand, France, Canada and the USA in San Diego as they look to extend their winning run.

Along with Waterman, the Barbarians team included fellow England stalwart Rochelle Clark, as well as Welsh internationals Jasmine Joyce and Elinor Snowsill, and Ireland’s Claire Molloy.