Rachel McArthur has been selected in Hope Powell’s England squad to take on Russia in Bristol later this month.
Bristol-born midfielder Rachel McArthur has been selected in Hope Powell’s England squad to take on Russia in a Nationwide women’s international later this month at the Memorial Stadium.
The former Fulham professional McArthur, who recently signed for Bristol City, returns the 21 player squad for the live Sky Sports game on Thursday 19 August, kick-off 7.35pm, after missing the team’s last victory against Iceland in May through injury.
The England Women’s team are making a welcome return to Bristol; they last played at the Memorial Stadium in May 2000, winning 1-0 over Switzerland in a Euro 2001 qualifier thanks to a Sue Smith goal.
This time around England will be hoping for another victory as they prepare for the next UEFA European Women’s Championship, which will be held in England from 05-19 June 2005 and for which England qualify automatically.
England are missing captain Faye White of Arsenal, out with a knee injury, and star striker Kelly Smith, of New Jersey Wildcats, who fractured her leg in action in the top American women’s league last month.
Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Toni-Anne Wayne makes her third successive squad, with England No.1 Rachel Brown still recovering from an ACL tear, and will be hoping to see her first action for the Senior team.
Meanwhile, Everton defender Lindsay Johnson has been called into the squad for the first time.
National Coach Hope Powell OBE said: "This is a strong squad, despite missing two of our key players through injury. Every player knows that she is playing for her place in the final squad for Euro 2005 and I expect to see some strong performances in this game.
"We played Russia in Moscow in October just after they had returned from the World Cup and they gave us a good match. They are a tough, physical side but the players know that after going 2-0 up that they could have won the game.
"This return match will give the players a chance to settle the score and I’m sure the crowd can expect a real entertaining display of top European football."
England have met Russia twice before – securing a 1-1 draw at Euro 2001 in Germany and 2-2 in Moscow last October. Russia qualified for last year’s Women’s World Cup so will provide a tough test for Hope Powell’s side. England will then meet the Netherlands in a double header in September in Holland.
England have played three home internationals so far this season, beating Denmark 2-0 in February at Portsmouth FC, losing 0-3 to African champions Nigeria at Reading FC in April and beating Iceland 1-0 at Peterborough United FC in May.
Tickets for the match, priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions in advance, rising to £5 and £2 on the day of the game will go on sale on Monday 5th July from the Bristol Rovers FC ticket office.
There will be special group rates for local clubs available on the Bristol Rovers FC website or from the ticket office. For further details call the ticket hotline on 0117 909 6648.
England Squad v Russia, 19 August 2004