Fran Kirby returns as Sarina Wiegman names England Lionesses squad for October friendlies

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Sarina Wiegman has named her England Women squad for the forthcoming international break, for fixtures against USA and Czech Republic.

The Lionesses will host the United States at Wembley on 7 October, their first game back at the national stadium since they triumphed there in the Euro 2022 final in extra time against Germany.

Four days later, England face European opposition at Brighton’s Amex Stadium, hoping to extend what is currently a 22-match unbeaten run - the last 14 of which have been wins.

The big news in terms of the latest squad is the return of key schemer Fran Kirby, who missed out on the World Cup qualifier wins over Austria and Luxembourg in early September through injury.

Euros final matchwinner Chloe Kelly is also back after similarly missing out that squad, while Lucy Parker and Jess Park receive a first senior call-up. Esme Morgan is another returning name to the 24-strong group.

Parker, Park and Morgan are all uncapped but, notably, full-back Lucy Bronze - who swapped Man City for Barcelona over the summer - will clock up her century of international caps if she appears in both fixtures. Lauren James is also in the squad after winning her first cap against Austria last month.

Seven players in the squad are currently with Man City, including Kelly and Morgan, while five come from rivals United and four are with reigning WSL champions Chelsea, who beat City at the weekend - fit-again Kirby on the scoresheet in that game.

Wiegman said: “Our focus is now firmly on the Fifa Women’s World Cup next summer, all of our time together is vitally important and this is an opportunity for those selected to apply themselves to the best of their ability on and off the pitch. The challenge of facing the world champions is one we look forward to and it is another tough fixture to measure our progress as we look to continue to make the next step forward.

“We are so excited to be able to go back to Wembley after our incredible experience in July. It will be a special evening and a great celebration for our fans, but we also know it will be a challenging game against very strong opposition. We are working hard towards next summer and this will help us understand where we are in our preparation.”

Goalkeepers: Mary Earps, Sandy MacIver, Ellie Roebuck

Defenders: Millie Brighton, Lucy Bronze, Jess Carter, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood, Esme Morgan, Lucy Parker, Demi Stokes, Leah Williamson

Midfielders: Fran Kirby, Jessica Park, Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone, Kiera Walsh, Katie Zelem

Forwards: Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, Lauren James, Beth Mead, Alessia Russo, Ebony Salmon