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Six Nations: Hunter returns after long injury absence to captain England

Sarah Hunter returns as England begin their Six Nations campaign against Scotland in April. Photo by Dan Mullan - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

England have been given a boost ahead of the Women's Six Nations as Sarah Hunter returns from a long-term injury to captain the side.

Simon Middleton's squad will meet in Doncaster on Monday before starting their title defence against Scotland on April 3.

Hunter is one of a number of returning players who missed the Autumn fixtures through injury. Among those are Saracens quartet Hannah Botterman, Bryong Cleall, Vicky Fleetwood and Sarah McKenna.

Gloucester's Zoe Aldcroft and Ellena Perry as well as Worcester Warriors' Lydia Thompson also return to the squad.

Sarah Bern, Natasha Hunt, Laura Keates and Morwenna Talling will miss the tournament through injury.

Middleton named four Great Britain Sevens internationals in the side -- Helena Rowland, Meg Jones, Ellie Kildunne and Alex Mathews -- and six development players.

"We saw an opportunity to help support the development of young players, bringing them into senior camps which was a win-win all round and there's every chance we could see those players feature over the course of the games," Middleton said.

Among those six development players is Exeter's Flo Robinson whose older sister Emily has also been named in the squad. The Harlequins flanker will be looking to earn her first cap.

England squad

Zoe Aldcroft, Sarah Beckett, Hannah Botterman, Shaunagh Brown, Bryony Cleall, Poppy Cleall, Amy Cokayne, Vickii Cornborough, Lark Davies, Vicky Fleetwood, Detysha Harper, Sarah Hunter (captain), Flo Long, Alex Matthews, Harriet Millar-Mills, Maud Muir, Cath O'Donnell, Marlie Packer, Ellena Perry, Emily Robinson, Abbie Ward; Jess Breach, Merryn Doidge, Abby Dow, Ellie Green, Zoe Harrison, Megan Jones, Ellie Kildunne, Claudia MacDonald, Sarah McKenna, Amber Reed, Leanne Riley, Flo Robinson, Helena Rowland, Emily Scarratt, Lydia Thompson, Lagi Tuima, Beth Wilcock.