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Eight Bristol Ladies to feature in World Cup group decider

Eight Bristol Ladies have been named in the England Women squad to take on USA in this afternoon’s World Cup Pool B decider.

Sarah Hunter returns to captain the side and is joined in the starting XV by Danielle Waterman, Amy Wilson-Hardy, Amber Reed, Sarah Bern and Marlie Packer, as head coach Simon Middleton makes 10 changes, including four positional.

Poppy Cleall and Megan Jones are named among the replacements.

The Red Roses are two wins from two in Pool B having beaten Spain 56-5 and Italy 56-13 in the last week. USA are also undefeated in the pool, overcoming Italy 24-12 and Spain 43-0.

In the scrum, Vickii Cornborough and Sarah Bern return to the front row with props Rochelle Clark and Justine Lucas on the bench. Abbie Scott starts at lock alongside Tamara Taylor, who scored her fourth try for England against Italy in her fourth World Cup appearance, and Alex Matthews moves to blind-side flanker.


In the backs, Kay Wilson, who scored four tries in the opening game against Spain and made her debut against USA in 2011, returns to the wing, while Amy Wilson Hardy switches to the right wing.

Amber Reed moves to inside centre with Katy Mclean starting at fly half. Scrum half Leanne Riley takes a place on the bench alongside Vicky Fleetwood as replacement hooker, having come back from a recent minor injury, while England centre Rachael Burford is set to make her seventh international appearance off the bench in the Pool B decider.


England Women head coach Simon Middleton said: “This is a winner takes all game in terms of topping the pool and will require a full 23 squad effort to get the job done.

“Regardless of whether players have been selected to start or will come on as finishers, everyone has equal weight in the team, fully understands what their role is and what they need to deliver come match day.



“We know playing against USA will be tough, they play a very physical game and have some dangerous players on the ball, but we have prepared well and the squad are in a good place, not only physically but mentally. We have confidence in entire squad and it’s now about going out and making sure we put in a full 80 minute performance.”



England team to play USA, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017: Danielle Waterman (Bristol, 72 caps), Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol, 8 caps), Emily Scarratt (Lichfield, 71 caps), Amber Reed (Bristol, 41 caps), Kay Wilson (Richmond, 46 caps), Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 88 caps), Natasha Hunt (Lichfield, 38 caps), Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies, 28 caps), Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, 30 caps), Sarah Bern (Bristol, 12 caps), Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 18 caps), Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 106 caps), Alex Matthews (Richmond, 34 caps), Marlie Packer (Bristol, 48 caps), Sarah Hunter (Bristol, 95 caps)


Replacements: Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens, 62 caps), Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries, 126 caps), Justine Lucas (Lichfield, 24 caps), Poppy Cleall (Bristol, 14 caps), Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield, 48 caps), Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies, 12 caps), Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies, 69 caps), Megan Jones (Bristol, 6 caps).

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