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Williamson withdraws from Lionesses squad with hamstring injury
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Rachel Steinberg
Press Association
Leah Williamson only recently returned to action for Arsenal
Leah Williamson only recently returned to action for Arsenal

Leah Williamson has withdrawn from her first England squad since last April due to injury, with Millie Turner called up in place of the Euro 2022-winning captain.

Arsenal described the 26-year-old defender's problem as a "minor hamstring injury" ahead of Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United — less than a month after she returned to action following a nine-month recovery from an ACL rupture.

World Cup runners-up England travel to Spain on Monday ahead of two friendlies against Austria and Italy, with Manchester United defender Turner replacing Williamson in Sarina Wiegman's squad.

An FA statement said: "Millie Turner has been called up to the England squad for this month’s fixtures with Austria and Italy being played in Spain.

"The Manchester United defender replaces Leah Williamson, who has withdrawn after missing out for Arsenal at the weekend with an injury."

Turner featured in the Lionesses' last squad of 2023.

Williamson suffered her knee injury in a WSL meeting with United and missed England's historic run to their first Women's World Cup final, where Chelsea defender Millie Bright took over captaincy duties.

Williamson's return would have marked the first time she had been part of an England squad since the team lifted the Women's Finalissima trophy in April 2023.

Last Monday, England boss Wiegman said of Williamson's return: "It is really nice to have her back because she is a very good player, even though she has been out for months, now she has come back her decision-making is still really good.

"She is still building. The team picked up very well, players stepped up but it is still really nice to have her back."

Wiegman did not say whether Williamson would still have the armband, with Bright also unavailable for selection due to injury.

She added: "I have to talk to the players first about that."


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