Shropshire Star

Ludlow’s Lark helps Red Roses win

England rugby star Lark Atkin-Davies started her sixth Six Nations campaign with a try as the Red Roses opened with a commanding 48-0 victory over Italy.


Ludlow-born Atkin-Davies, 29, crossed the line for one of eight tries for new boss John Mitchell’s side, who are hunting a sixth consecutive Six Nations crown.

It was not all plain-sailing for England in Parma. The visitors lost Sarah Beckett to an early red card and faced some Italian pressure but turned on the style later on.

Tries from Hannah Botterman and Abbie Ward had England 10-0 up at the break before Bristol Bears’ Atkin-Davies touched down with a double from Ellie Kildunne and tries from Helena Rowland, Mackenzie Carson and Connie Powell.

Atkin-Davies earned her 55th cap in the contest having hit the half-century milestone against Canada in September.

The former Orleton Primary pupil and Ludlow College student said on the eve of the tournament: “I love to be challenged and love learning and that is certainly happening with John Mitchell coming in. He is really trying to elevate our game whether that be through variety or playing a faster game.”

England go again at home to Wales at Ashton Gate in Bristol on Saturday (4.45pm).