England women's coach Gary Street admitted he was given plenty of selection headaches after announcing five changes for the Grand Slam clash against France from the side that thrashed Scotland.
The 51-0 demolition of Scotland was England’s fourth straight win and their third in which to they have claimed a shutout of the opposition, to leave Street’s side on the cusp of a record-breaking sixth straight Six Nations title.
But that consummate performance has not stopped Street replacing a third of the starting XV.
Plenty of experience returns in the shape of Rochelle Clark, Sophie Hemming, Margaret Alphonsi, Rachel Burford and Catherine Spencer while Fiona Pocock and Amber Penrith retain their places in the back three after both impressed against Scotland.
Standing in their way of a fourth Grand Slam in five years are a French team who have lost just one game – to Scotland – this Championship and Street believes his side will have to produce their best performance of the campaign.
He said: “France have certainly come back better this season and that is inevitable in a World Cup year. However, we plan to go out there and play to the best of our abilities.
“I am not thinking about titles, grand slams, or even the world cup. Beating France is the only thing on my agenda at the moment.
“This is a really strong squad for our game against France. We have got a lot of players in form, so selection has been really difficult.
“There was around 27 players with their hat in the ring for selection, but we have had to make the cut to 22 and I am certainly pleased and confident in my final selection.”
15 Fiona Pocock Richmond
14 Katherine Merchant Worcester
13 Emily Scarratt Lichfield
12 Rachael Burford Richmond
11 Amber Penrith Worcester
10 Katy Mclean (VC) Darlington Mowden Park Sharks
9 Amy Turner Richmond
1 Rochelle Clark Team Northumbria
2 Amy Garnett Saracens
3 Sophie Hemming Bristol
4 Joanna McGilchrist Wasps
5 Tamara Taylor Darlington Mowden Park Sharks
6 Heather Fisher Worcester
7 Margaret Alphonsi Saracens
8 Catherine Spencer (C) Bristol
16 Emma Layland Richmond
17 Claire Purdy Wasps
18 Rebecca Essex Richmond
19 Karen Jones Worcester
20 La Toya Mason Wasps
21 Alice Richardson Richmond
22 Claire Allan Richmond