Lyon refuse to let Nikita Parris link up with England while Steph Houghton misses camp due to injury
LYON have yet again refused to allow star striker Nikita Parris to link up with England – despite one of the upcoming matches being held in France.
The French side have returned a string of positive coronavirus tests and were forced to axe their upcoming Champions League quarter-final second leg tie with PSG.
Manchester City and England skipper Steph Houghton is also ruled out due to an Achilles injury.
It will be the first time the Lionesses have been without their captain since November 2019.
Boss Hege Riise has named a 24-player squad for the next camp ahead of matches with France and Canada.
When asked about the omission of Parris and Houghton, Riise said: "It's an opportunity for others to step up and show they want to be a part of this.
"Steph has been captain for many years and of course has been a major player for a long time.
"We cannot replace her but it is an opportunity for a younger player to step up and that's what we are looking for."
Parris was also absent from the February camp after Lyon refused to let her leave due to strict quarantine regulations in France amid the coronavirus crisis.
Riise continued: "Hopefully we can look later in the camp for Parris to come in for the last bit but we don't know, that's the world we are living in right now.
England Women’s squad for April camp
Goalkeepers: Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Sandy MacIver (Everton), Carly Telford (Chelsea), Karen Bardsley (OL Reign, on loan from Manchester City).
Defenders: Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Millie Turner (Manchester United), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Jill Scott (Everton, on loan from Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Keira Walsh (Manchester City).
Forwards: Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Beth England (Chelsea), Ellen White (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal).
"Not only injuries but other things can be challenging.
"I don't know all the details (on the Lyon situation) but I will hold back on my answer until we know more."
Who else is missing?
Lauren James, 19, has been snubbed despite her scintillating form for Manchester United.
Ebony Salmon and Hannah Hampton were both called up in February but have been axed from this squad.
Hampton was recently cut from contention for this summer's Team GB squad in a high-profile incident that saw the Football Association apologise.
The young goalkeeper received the news less than two hours before playing a Women's Super League game for Birmingham.
Who is in?
Veteran goalkeeping duo Karen Bardsley and Carly Telford have been recalled.
Arsenal's Mead, the most high-profile omission from the first Lionesses squad last month, is back in the side.
Chelsea's Niamh Charles and United's Millie Turner earn their first senior call-up.
Blues duo Fran Kirby and Millie Bright are all back in the England squad ahead of April's friendlies, after missing out last time due to injury.
Demi Stokes returns despite picking up an injury at the weekend in Man City's win over Reading.
Beth England, who has missed Chelsea's last four games through concussion, is also included.
Riise's side play France in Caen on April 9 before a home friendly against Canada in Stoke four days later.
She added: "This is crucial as we move closer to the Tokyo Olympics.
"But also important as we continue to prepare this squad to compete at the home Euro next year and the World Cup in 2023.
"I look forward to two exciting fixtures and the opportunity of challenging every player to impress us and stake their claim for a place in the shortlist for GB Football.
"I have also been watching very closely those players for the home nations who are in contention for the GB squad.
"And I will continue to do so right up until we shortlist next month."
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