Ward returns to England camp less than a year after giving birth to her daughter as the side begin their preparations for the Guinness Women’s Six Nations which gets under way in late March.
The squad will assemble on January 22 for three days and there are six uncapped players in the mix by the way of Exeter’s Lizzie Hanlon, Katie Buchanan, and Merryn Doidge, Loughborough Lightning’s Lilli Ives Campion, Saracens’ Sharifa Kasolo and Bristol’s Gabriella Nigrelli.
The experienced Poppy Cleall has been omitted from the 38-player squad and is not thought to be injured. She has 65 caps under her belt for the Red Roses.
On his squad selection, Mitchell said: “We are excited to come together for our first camp of 2024 and build on the positive experience of WXV and introduce some new people to what we are about.
Amy Cokayne, Emily Scarratt, Morwenna Talling, Zoe Harrison, and Zoe Aldcroft miss out on the camp through injury.
The Red Roses will get their Six Nations title defence under way against Italy on March 24.