Acting head coach Nicola Ponsford has warned the women’s Six Nations is the chance for her players to lay down a marker for a new World Cup cycle, writes Stuart Amos.

The world champions open their campaign with a visit to Swansea to face Wales on Sunday with no less than five Richmond players in the match day squad.

Back row Hannah Field will start her first international on the flank, alongside hooker Emma Croker, number eight Alexandra Matthews and lock Rowena Burnfield.

Victoria Cornborough will hope to make her England debut from the bench.

Ponsford said: “This season is the start of a new World Cup cycle for us, so the Six Nations is an opportunity for us to bring on a number of new players.

We have got some really exciting young players coming through who will learn a lot from this experience.

“Hannah Field, Abbie Brown and Sydney Gregson have all played international sevens so they already have some experience under their belts.

“This talent will be supported by a huge amount of experience across the rest of the squad.”