Red Rose Morwenna Talling will join Sale Sharks Women ahead of the 2023/24 Premier15s season
The 20-year-old former Loughborough Lightning forward was part of England’s recent Six Nations squad
Sharks have also signed versatile Loughborough flanker/back Nikita Prothero
Sale Sharks Women have signed England and Loughborough Lightning forward Morwenna Talling as the club aims to build on its best ever finish in the Premier15s.
The 20-year-old, who grew up in North Yorkshire, has signed a two-year contract to join Rachel Taylor’s squad for the 2023/24 season.
Morwenna becomes the second senior Red Rose to sign on at Carrington following the arrival of Manchester-born prop Detysha Harper last month.
And the England pair will be joined at Sale by another talented young Loughborough player in Nikita Prothero, who can slot in to either flanker position or in the back three.
Powerful back-rower Morwenna was just 18 when she made her England debut against Italy in the 2020 Six Nations.
She has gone on to win seven caps and was part of the squad that reached the final of the delayed 2019 World Cup last year.
She was also a key part of England’s squad in the recent Six Nations and came off the bench in the final game against France as Simon Middleton’s team clinched the Grand Slam.
Morwenna said: “I’ve been at Loughborough since the start of my rugby journey and I decided it was time for a new challenge.
“Sale Sharks Women have had a great season and you can tell something very special is building here on and off the pitch. I really wanted to be a part of that.
“Moving closer to home was a big part of the decision too. I moved away when I was 16 so to come back up north is really exciting. I want to play my part in helping to grow the women’s game up here.
“This team has so much potential and the big goal has to be to get into the top four. There’s no reason why we can’t achieve massive things together.”
Nikita joined Loughborough College in September 2021 and made her Premier 15s debut against Saracens later that month.
The 21-year-old flanker made five league appearances in total and a further six in the cup, also turning out four times for England U20s whilst part of the Loughborough squad.
Sale Sharks Women’s Performance Coach Rachel Taylor said: “Morwenna is one of the best young players in England so it’s huge for us that she has decided to come here.
“She is only young but she already has really valuable experience of playing in big games, in front of massive crowds so that can only help the rest of our players.
“Nikita is a really exciting young player too and she’ll add real competition and quality to our squad. She has so much versatility. She has the speed of a winger and the physicality of a back-rower and we’re really excited about working with her.
“We’ve got massive ambitions to reach that top four and grow the women’s game in the north, and attracting the very best players to come and play here is a big part of that.”