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England vs Austria LIVE: Latest updates as Grace Clinton handed Lionesses debut



Sarina Wiegman Hails England’s ‘Growth Potential’ After Signing New Contract

England take on Austria in an international women’s friendly match as part of their February training camp.

The Lionesses have two friendlies in Marbella, against Austria and Italy as part of the international break, but it is a schedule that offers little relief to burnt out players, despite the national side having missed out on qualification for the Paris Olympics this summer.

Sarina Wiegman’s side were dealt a blow ahead of the matches. Euro 2021-winning captain Leah Williamson had been called up for the first time following her nine-month recovery from her anterior cruciate ligament rupture. Her much-anticipated return had to be pushed back after she sustained what has been described as a minor hamstring injury.

The England manager recently signed a contract extension with the Football Association until 2027, and this will mark the start of her new cycle although without a tournament on the horizon, the matches themselves do not count for anything significant.

Follow all the live updates in the blog below and get the latest odds and tips here.

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England team

Sarina Wiegman has handed a debut to midfielder Grace Clinton, while Chelsea goalkeeper Hannah Hampton starts in place of the England number one and Sports Personality of the Year winner Mary Earps.

Alex Greenwood will captain the side, while Lucy Bronze and Kiera Walsh were among the substitutes.

Sonia Twigg23 February 2024 18:52

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England team

England XI: Hampton, Le Tissier, Charles, Stanway, Morgan, Greenwood, Mead, Clinton, Russo, Kirby, Hemp.

Subs: Carter, Keating, Toone, Wubben-Moy, James, Bronze, Walsh, Daly, Park, Earps, Turner, Beeves-Jones.

Sonia Twigg23 February 2024 18:51

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England vs Austria

The teams will be announced shortly, will Wiegman take the opportunity to rotate her side, or stand by the players who she has built her side around for the last few years?

Sonia Twigg23 February 2024 18:40

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Sarina Wiegman continued

“The issue of injuries is a bigger picture and it’s about the load on the players. The calendar we talk about a lot, that we really have to address the calendar. I spoke up about that last week – we really ask FIFA and UEFA to change things.

“But we are doing a job as good as possible with all the expertise we have in our team and staff. We have a programme and we monitor the players really well.

“You’re in an environment where an injury can happen because it’s a physical sport, but if you can diminish the risk of injuries as much as possible, that’s also what we try to do.”

Sonia Twigg23 February 2024 18:30

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Sarina Wiegman on the demands on players

Asked if club coaches had requested a limit on player minutes amid a three-way Women’s Super League title race and a spate of high-profile injuries, Wiegman said: “Not this time.

“We are in contact with each other all the time, we update each other and of course we know how important the Women’s Super League is too but also the German League for Georgia [Stanway] and the Spanish league for the players who play in Spain at the moment.

“Of course, we want to take care of the players but we want to do lots of things. We play to win but we also have the opportunity now to try out things and also manage minutes. With a busy calendar I think that’s something to be aware of.”

Sonia Twigg23 February 2024 18:15

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Squad update

A small squad update ahead of the game tonight: Aggie Beever-Jones has joined the seniors from the under-23s for the first time.

Sonia Twigg23 February 2024 18:10

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Sarina Wiegman spoke ahead of the match

“This is really the start of our Euros campaign and after the very disappointing result of not qualifying for the play-offs to qualify for the Olympics we moved on,” said Wiegman ahead of the match.

“This is the start, with two friendlies which is really good for us because we can try out some things.

“We are also very close to the Under-23s [also training in Spain] so we can see them, we can connect with them and we get a lot of players that we can see where they are at this moment.

“This is a great start because in April the Nations League starts which are the qualifiers for the Euros.”

Sonia Twigg23 February 2024 18:00

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Sarina Wiegman insists Lionesses have left previous heartbreak behind them

England head coach Sarina Wiegman believes her side have “moved on” from the heartbreak of missing out on Olympic qualification.

The Lionesses face Austria on Friday and Italy next Tuesday in a pair of friendlies which have replaced what they hoped would be Nations League semi-finals.

A 6-0 thrashing of Scotland looked to have secured top spot in Group A1 in December, only for the Netherlands to score twice in added time against Belgium to pip England on goal difference and end Team GB’s hopes of qualifying for Paris 2024.

Sonia Twigg23 February 2024 17:30

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Leah Williamson out of England squad after injury setback

Leah Williamson has withdrawn from her first England women squad since last April due to injury, with Millie Turner called up in place of the Euro 2022-winning captain.

Sonia Twigg23 February 2024 17:00

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When is England vs Austria and how can I watch it?

England Women are back in action on Friday for the first time since December when they take on Austria in Spain as attention turns towards building a new team capable of winning Euro 2025.

The likes of Mary Earps and Rachel Daly return to a squad with a familiar feel. Head coach Sarina Wiegman has opted not to bring any newcomers into the group for this training camp in Spain.

Sonia Twigg23 February 2024 16:30



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