Beth Mead and Nikita Parris Key Absentees as Hege Riise Names First England Women’s Squad

Hege Riise England squad
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Hege Riise has named her first England squad for the Lionesses’ friendly against Northern Ireland on February 23 – their first fixture in almost a year.

Hege Riise Names First England Squad With Key Players Missing

A Total of 20 Players Included

A total of 20 players have been included in the squad for the match against Kenny Shiels’ side, which comes at the end of a five-day training camp at St George’s Park.

Fans in the United Kingdom will be able to see the match live on the BBC, in what is the first meeting between the nations since a European Championships qualifier in 2008.

The Northern Ireland match is the first of two scheduled fixtures for the Lionesses, ahead of a game with Canada on April 13 – a time and venue for the match is still to be confirmed.

Beth Mead Omitted

The most notable omission from Riise’s squad is Arsenal forward Beth Mead, with Riise claiming that her “form hasn’t been great.”

Mead has appeared in all 12 of Arsenal’s Women’s Super League games to date, scoring three goals, but will not join Gunners teammates Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Jordan Nobbs in the squad.

Other high-profile omissions include Nikita Parris of Olympique Lyonnais. The French club unwilling to release the striker for international duty due to Covid-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, fellow Liverpudlian and Atletico Madrid forward, Toni Duggan is also excluded.

Rachel Daly, who had a spell on loan with West Ham United earlier this season, is the only player outside of the Women’s Super League to be included.

Jill Scott is one of 10 Manchester City players included and would win her 150th cap if she features in the match.

Four Uncapped Players Named

There are four uncapped players involved, which include goalkeepers Hannah Hampton and Sandy MacIver of Birmingham City and Everton respectively, Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy and Manchester United’s Ella Toone.

The squad in full is listed below.

Goalkeepers: Hannah Hampton (Birmingham), Sandy MacIver (Everton), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)

Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jill Scott (Everton on loan from Manchester City), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Keira Walsh (Manchester City)

Forwards: Bethany England (Chelsea), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Ellen White (Manchester City)

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