England Women: Leah Williamson earns first Lionesses recall since ACL injury return

Leah Williamson has been named in an England Women’s squad for the first time since returning from a serious knee injury.

England captain Williamson, who was forced to sit out of last summer’s Women’s World Cup after suffering an ACL rupture, returned to action for the Gunners in late January, and is now back in Lionesses contention for upcoming friendlies against Austria and Italy.

It’s the first time the Arsenal defender will feature in an England selection since the team lifted the Women’s Finalissima trophy in April 2023.

Jess Park, who last featured for the Lionesses in October, has also been included in the 23-player group.

Beth Mead (left) has only recently returned to the England fold after overcoming the same knee injury as Williamson

Millie Bright and Bethany England are out injured while there is no room for Nikita Parris despite a good run of form for Manchester United.

Head coach Sarina Wiegman said: “This camp is where the road to EURO 2025 in Switzerland begins. Playing against strong teams like Austria and Italy is just the preparation we need before we kick off our qualifying campaign in April.

“I am really looking forward to getting back on the grass with the squad.”

England Women squad in full

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Man Utd), Khiara Keating (Man City), Hannah Hampton (Chelsea).

Defenders: Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Esme Morgan (Man City), Alex Greenwood (Man City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Maya Le Tissier (Man Utd).

Midfielders: Grace Clinton (Tottenham), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jess Park (Man City), Keira Walsh (Barcelona), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Man Utd).

Forwards: Alessia Russo (Man Utd), Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Lauren Hemp (Man City), Chloe Kelly (Man City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Beth Mead (Arsenal).

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