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  1. ITV Report

England women's rugby team prepare for the start of the Six Nations Championships

Photo: ITV News

The Women's Six Nations Championships are set to get under way.

For the first time, all the players in the England Women's rugby squad are professional.

This means that for last fortnight they have had the luxury of being able to train full time together.

That is a key factor according to Natasha Hunt from Gloucester.

Natasha Hunt, left Credit: ITV News

Natasha says that all being together "gives us the ability to rest and recover."

"It allows us to sort our nutrition out and plan for the next day. Those sort of things are paramount to being able to reach the top."

Amber Reed Credit: ITV News

Bristol's Amber Reed will win her 33rd cap when England line up against defending champions France. It is a return to the national side she's relishing after an unwanted layoff.

She said, "France is always a tough fixture and it's fantastic for us to be able to kick off our six nations at home, at twickenham, at HQ - against a very tough opposition.

"Personally for me, it will be my first game back since October, returning from injury. I'm just excited to get a game under my belt and it's always special running out in a white shirt."

Credit: ITV News

Coach Simon Middleton is optimistic ahead of his team's first match.

"We've got some fantastic talent, we showed some great stuff in the Autumn Internationals.

"We are developing our team play all the time and if we get our game in order, we execute well, we make good decisions - I think we've certainly got a good a chance as anyone."

All of the team's six nations matches will, for the first time in this country, be available to view live either online or on television.