Man United’s captain and returning star after eight-year absence – meet England’s ‘new’ Lionesses

England’s Lionesses have a number of new faces in their squad for this summer’s Women’s World Cup.

The players who won Euro 2022 became household names under Sarina Weigman’s watchful eye.


The Lionesses are welcoming a number of new faces for this next major tournamentCredit: AFP

From captain fantastic and Arsenal star Leah Williamson to England no.1 and Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps, the nation fell in love with the Lionesses squad that brought football home.

But this summer, some of those history makers won’t be pulling on the white shirt as England head to Australia and New Zealand in search of World Cup glory, including Williamson.

Williamson, Beth Mead and Fran Kirby miss out through injury, whilst Jill Scott and Ellen White have retired.

But it means others have been given the nod and will want to seize the opportunity with both hands.

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Despite the challenge, Scott – who hung her boots up after last summer’s Euros win – believes the new additions will shine for their country.

“Injuries are all part of the game really,” the former Manchester City star told talkSPORT when asked about the absence of some of England’s key stars.

“We were lucky in the Euros that we didn’t have one injury which is mad to say and losing Leah, Beth and Fran is going to be a hit on the squad. You can’t deny that but it brings an opportunity for the younger players.

“I really feel like they can step up because they have some real talent in that team; Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Ella Toone, Alessia [Russo] – you can just see they’ve got so many goal
threats going forward.”

Jill Scott believes England's new players will thrive in Australia and New Zealand


Jill Scott believes England’s new players will thrive in Australia and New ZealandCredit: Getty Images – Getty

So who are these new faces that are competing at this summer’s World Cup that missed out last summer? has got you covered…


Niamh Charles (Chelsea)

Chelsea right-back Charles represented England at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-20 levels and made her senior debut in 2021, coming on as a half-time substitute for Alex Greenwood in a friendly against France.

Although originally named in the pre-tournament squad Euro 2022, the 24-year-old was one of three unfortunate players who narrowly missed the cut for the final 23. However, she’ll now be looking to earn a permanent spot in the squad this summer and add to her six caps.

Charles has starred for WSL winners Chelsea this season


Charles has starred for WSL winners Chelsea this seasonCredit: Getty

Esme Morgan (Man City)

A lifelong Man City fan, 22-year-old Morgan has played five games for the Lionesses, winning her first cap in October 2022 after England’s Euros success.

She started at centre-back for England in the 0-0 against Portugal on Saturday alongside Jess Carter and the 2-0 loss to Australia in April, too, and played 17 games in the WSL this season.


Laura Coombs (Man City)

Despite not competing at Euro 2022, midfielder Coombs isn’t a new face for the Lionesses. The 31-year-old actually first made her debut for England in 2015.

However, after a eight-year spell of not playing a single minute for her country, Coombs was ‘shocked’ at a call-up for the 2023 Arnold Clark Cup. Her performances for Man City have earned her a seat at the table once again.

Laura Coombs (right) was part of the squad that won the Women's Finalissima


Laura Coombs (right) was part of the squad that won the Women’s FinalissimaCredit: Getty

Jordan Nobbs (Aston Villa)

Like Coombs, Nobbs is already well known by England fans. With 71 caps under her belt since 2013, the 30-year-old is back in the Lionesses squad after missing out on the Euros with a knee injury.

She also missed the 2019 World Cup with a cruciate ligament rupture, an injury all too common in women’s football. However, her cap at the 2015 World Cup will no doubt come in handy as she helps lead a youthful Lionesses team.

Nobbs isn't letting injury get in her way this time


Nobbs isn’t letting injury get in her way this timeCredit: Getty

Katie Zelem (Man United)

Zelem, 27, was not called up to represent her country’s senior team for several years despite representing them at youth level. She impressed former boss Phil Neville when named captain of Manchester United, though, and later attended senior training in September 2020.

Wiegman eventually handed Zelem her England debut in November 2021 when she came on as a 71st-minute substitute during a record 20–0 win against Latvia, but she ultimately missed out on the Euro 2022 squad. Now, the attacking midfielder will be competing at a World Cup for the first time.

Zelem still wears the armband for United and her leadership skills will no doubt come in handy this summer


Zelem still wears the armband for United and her leadership skills will no doubt come in handy this summerCredit: Getty


Katie Robinson (Brighton)

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England aren’t short of amazing forwards this summer, but following striker Ellen White’s retirement, 20-year-old Brighton star Robinson is the latest addition to the new generation of Lionesses attackers.

With five caps in her locker following her debut in November 2022 against Norway, this will also be Robinson’s first major tournament.

Follow all the latest Women’s World Cup results, fixtures and group standings in our new match centre HERE.

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