The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
But 17 players who participated in the autumn – including captain Katy McLean – will miss the Six Nations due to their involvement in England’s World Cup Sevens training squad.
Head coach Gary Street is therefore expected to field a very different side from the one which defeated the Black Ferns when England kick off their title defence against Scotland at Esher RFC on February 2.
The opener is one of three home fixtures for the Red Rose, with Italy also travelling to Esher and the clash with fierce rivals France on February 23 to be staged at Twickenham – while England face Ireland and Wales on the road.
And No.8 Hunter, who will captain the squad in McLean’s absence, insists she is not daunted by the challenge presented by the absence of senior players.
“Every Six Nations is a special tournament and I am always filled with excitement to play in the championship,” said Hunter.
“But certainly this season it is going to be tougher than ever. We will be without several regular starters; players like Margaret Alphonsi, Emily Scarratt and Heather Fisher so that is going to present us with a very different challenge.”
“However, I think it is going to be a very exciting challenge. We have shown over the last few years that we do have real depth in this England squad and this season’s Six Nations championship will be a real chance for some of the less experienced or younger players to show what they can do.
“It could certainly be our toughest Six Nations ever but I am relishing getting our campaign started and captaining this new-look England squad.”