EXETER Chiefs Women’s scrum-half Brooke Bradley will make her 50th appearance for the club when she takes to the field for Sunday’s Allianz PWR game against Sale Sharks Women at Sandy Park (1pm).
Locally-raised Bradley made her first appearance for Chiefs against Bristol Bears at the start of the 2021/22 season.
Since then, the former England U20s player, who was recently invited to train with the senior England squad, has racked up 13 cup and 36 league appearances, scoring seven tries along the way.
Now in her third season with Chiefs, Bradley has established herself in the number nine jersey and has been selected to start against Sale.
Assistant coach Steve Salvin said: “What highlights how well Brooke has done is the recognition from the national team. She has gone from being our number two scrum-half to someone who is rubbing shoulders with the national team. That shows how much she has come on this season.
“Brooke provides really good service but is also a genuine threat around the breakdown. Her kicking game has massively improved, as has her authority among the group as a leader. I am delighted to see her get her 50th cap for Chiefs.”
In other team news, fly-half Robyn Wilkins will start having been away from the club playing for Gwalia Lightening in the Celtic Challenge, having previously added to her Welsh caps in the international WXV competition at the start of the season.
Eilidh Sinclair is back on the wing, Cliodhna Moloney starts at hooker alongside prop Lizzie Hanlon, while lock Linde van der Velden has returned from international duty with the Netherlands to be named in the second row.
Salvin said: “Linde has not played for us since before Christmas. We were keen to get her back on the field this week and give some other players some pitch time. You want to strike the balance with all the players, so you are not over-working them but not under-working them either.”
Hooker Daisy French gets another opportunity on the bench while lock Kate Smith also returns having been a replacement against Sale a fortnight ago. Backs Sophie Langford and Danielle Preece are back in the squad, too.
This will be the third time Chiefs have faced Sale this season, with the last outing only being a fortnight ago. Chiefs won both of those encounters by 50-point margins but will not be taking anything for granted.
Salvin added: “You only have to look at the names on the teamsheet for Sale. They have got full internationals scattered throughout. They are loaded with exceptionally talented players. We fully respect what they bring on a match day and have done all the appropriate preparation to get a result this weekend.”
Tickets for Sunday’s game are £11 for adults and £5.50 for children and youth aged 16 and under. Chiefs’ season ticket holders can attend this match as part of their package.
Exeter Chiefs Women: Merryn Doidge (vc), Eilidh Sinclair, Kanako Kobayashi, Gabby Cantorna, Claudia MacDonald, Robyn Wilkins, Brooke Bradley, Hope Rogers, Cliodhna Moloney, Lizzie Hanlon, Linde van der Velden, Poppy Leitch (capt), Ebony Jefferies, Maisy Allen, Rachel Johnson. Replacements: Daisy French, Abby Middlebrooke, DaLeaka Menin, Kate Smith, Harriet Millar-Mills, Taz Bricknell, Sophie Langford, Danielle Preece.