All three Welwyn players named in England's Rugby World Cup squad will feature in the opening game against Fiji.

The match at Eden Park in Auckland is the second of three clashes on day one of the delayed 2021 competition.

And the Hobbs Way rugby club back in Welwyn Garden City are sure to be cheering on Zoe Harrison, Helena Rowland and Hannah Botterman, as well as the rest of the girls, in a tournament where the Red Roses start favourites ahead of hosts New Zealand.

Harrison and Rowland will form the 10-12 link in England's back-line against Fiji while Botterman, who began her career at Datchworth, is one of the replacements.

There is no place, however, for Harpenden's Sarah McKenna.

Head coach Simon Middleton is raring to go.

He said: “We’ve received a brilliant welcome in New Zealand and the welcome ceremony on Monday was a spectacular occasion.

"There was incredible energy and enthusiasm in the room and it was an event we will all remember.

"We’ve selected an experienced matchday 23 who we feel are in a good position to get our campaign off to a strong start.

"We know we could have selected any of the wider squad and there are nine players this week with a key supporting role.

"It’s a privilege to come up against a team in their first-ever World Cup match. We know they have talented players and we’re looking forward to the challenge.

"It’s great to hear over 30,000 tickets have been sold for the opening day too.

"I’m really pleased with the group effort in training and we can’t wait to get started at an iconic venue in Eden Park on Saturday."

The pool C match kicks off at 4.45am UK time and is live on ITV.

They follow the opening game between France and South Africa and before a mouth-watering finale of defending champions New Zealand against Australia.

Another ex-Welwyn junior, Lotte Clapp, is part of the USA squad who begin their campaign against Italy on Sunday at 12.45am UK time.

England matchday squad to play Fiji

15. Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins, 25 caps)
14. Lydia Thompson (University of Worcester Warriors, 54 caps)
13. Emily Scarratt (VC; Loughborough Lightning, 103 caps)
12. Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning, 17 caps)
11. Claudia MacDonald (Exeter Chiefs, 20 caps)
10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens, 40 caps)
9. Leanne Infante (Saracens, 52 caps)

1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins, 70 caps)
2. Amy Cokayne (Harlequins, 64 caps)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears, 46 caps)
4. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury, 32 caps)
5. Abbie Ward (Bristol Bears, 56 caps)
6. Alex Matthews (Gloucester-Hartpury, 51 caps)
7. Sadia Kabeya (Loughborough Lightning, 4 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (C; Loughborough Lightning, 135 caps)

16. Connie Powell (Gloucester-Hartpury, 5 caps)
17. Hannah Botterman (Saracens, 30 caps)
18. Maud Muir (Gloucester-Hartpury, 11 caps)
19. Cath O’Donnell (Loughborough Lightning, 20 caps)
20. Poppy Cleall (Saracens, 57 caps)
21. Lucy Packer (Harlequins, 5 caps)
22. Holly Aitchison (Saracens, 10 caps)
23. Abby Dow (Wasps, 24 caps)