May 22, 2024

Women's Six Nations 2024: Captain Marley Packer says England want to 'release the handbrake' in attack

  • Written by Alistair Telfer
  • BBC Sport at Ashton Gate

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Women's Six Nations 2024: England win 46-10 over Wales in front of record crowd

England want to continue to “take the handbrake off” in attack during the Women's Six Nations, says captain Marley Packer.

The Red Roses thrashed Wales at Ashton Gate in front of a crowd of 19,705 – a record for an England women's match outside Twickenham.

John Mitchell's side have now scored 94 points in the opening two rounds.

“We want to let go of the handbrake for these mistakes to happen,” Packer told BBC Sport.

“But that's how we react.”

England scored eight tries in Bristol, with hooker Lark Atkin-Davies claiming the bonus points before half-time.

Before Mitchell took over last fall, the Red Roses used an attacking style of play to reach the 2022 World Cup final.

Packer enjoys her new coach's philosophy of playing with “positive intent” to help increase the speed of play.

“We knew we wanted to get here in 20 minutes and execute our game plan,” the 34-year-old added.

“We want to play at a fast pace and put an exciting brand of rugby on the field. To do that, we must bring the energy and play.

“We want to let go of the handbrake and play. If balls fall it's because of the way we try to play, but hopefully it will be exciting rugby.

“There were 19,000 fans here today and more on TV and we want them to keep coming back.”

Atkin Davies' try was the only score to come from England's strike, which they have relied on heavily under Simon Middleton.

Fullback Ellie Kildon had two tries and winger Abbey Dow dived into the corner, a fluid performance from fullback and striker Mitchell.

“The diversity of goals has been positive and there is still a lot of growth to come,” Mitchell told BBC Sport.

“I think we can be more persistent and continue to improve our skill set under pressure.

“What I liked today is that we were under pressure for long periods and we performed very well.

“We want to be faster and put pressure on teams. We can do that in many ways.”

Versatile full-back Helena Rowland, who started England's opening win over Italy in Parma, will miss the rest of the Six Nations with a broken finger, Mitchell confirmed.

However, the 60-year-old was confident that Atkin Davies would be available for England's next match against Scotland on April 13, where the hooker will undergo a mandatory head injury assessment after suffering a knock on Saturday.

England remain on course to secure a third successive Grand Slam title and sixth successive Six Nations.

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