Leah Williamson returns to Lionesses squad

Leah Williamson back in England squad
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

The England squad for this month’s matches against Austria and Italy sees the return after injury of captain Leah Williamson.

Williamson was back in action last month with Arsenal after nine months out with a serious knee injury. It is the first time Williamson 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, is also back while Millie Bright is unavailable for selection due to injury.

The Lionesses, who are looking to start the year off on a positive note before beginning the defence of their EURO title, face Austria on Friday 23 February (7.45pm GMT). That will be followed by the date with Italy four days later on Tuesday 27 February (5pm GMT). Both fixtures will be played at the Estadio Nuevo Mirador in Algeciras.

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.

“It is the first time we will be back together as a group since last year. Travelling away for this camp will give us a great opportunity to connect again on and off the pitch and allow us to give minutes to many players.

“Being in Spain with hopefully good weather and excellent facilities is the perfect setting for the work we need to do as a team to get us ready for another very important year ahead.”

The UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 qualifying draw on Tuesday 5 March will determine the match schedule for the Lionesses during the qualification phase which runs between April and July. This will ultimately decide the 15 teams, alongside the hosts, who will travel to Switzerland to take part in the tournament.

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Chelsea), Khiara Keating (Manchester City)

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

Midfielders: Grace Clinton (Tottenham Hotspur, loan from Manchester United), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jess Park (Manchester City), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona)

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

England v Austria
7.45pm, Friday 23 February
Estadio Nuevo Mirador, Algeciras, Spain
Live on ITV1
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England v Italy
5pm, Tuesday 27 February
Estadio Nuevo Mirador, Algeciras, Spain
Live on ITV4
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