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Four Bristol Ladies start Women’s Rugby World Cup final

England head coach Simon Middleton has made one change to the starting fifteen who will face New Zealand in Saturday’s Women’s Rugby World Cup final at Kingspan Stadium (7.45pm KO).

Megan Jones, who scored the winning try on Tuesday’s semi-final victory over France, booking the Red Roses’ place in their fifth consecutive World Cup final, starts at outside centre alongside Rachael Burford. Emily Scarratt, who kicked ten points on Tuesday to become England Women record points scorer with 424, is named at full back.
 
In the backs, Kay Wilson and Natasha Hunt will play in their second World Cup final while Katy Mclean competes in her third, starting at fly-half. Wing Lydia Thompson makes her debut in a World Cup final after having her 2014 campaign cut short due to injury.
 
The forwards remain unchanged with semi-final Player of the Match Sarah Bern starting alongside Vickii Cornborough and Amy Cokayne in the front row. Playing in her fourth World Cup final, Tamara Taylor remains in the second row with Abbie Scott. The backrow sees Alex Matthews and Marlie Packer retain their starting positions, with Sarah Hunter captaining the side at No 8.
 
Four time World Cup veteran Rocky Clark is named on the bench and is joined by finishers Vicky Fleetwood, Justine Lucas, Izzy Noel-Smith and Harriet Millar-Mills.

Finally, backs La Toya Mason and Amber Reed are joined by Amy Wilson Hardy, who returns to the bench.
 
Commenting on the line-up to face the Black Ferns, England Women head coach Simon Middleton said: “Our goal was to get to this point in the tournament, using the full breadth of the squad and rotating players to ensure we were in the best possible position to peak on Saturday. The strength in depth of this squad and the quality across all 28-players has meant we have been able to do just that.
 
“We have full confidence in this squad. As a group they have consistently delivered quality performances throughout the tournament. It’s now about finishing the job and leaving nothing out on the field come Saturday.”
 
England last faced New Zealand in June 2017, scoring five tries to win 29-21 and ending a five game winning streak for the Black Ferns over the Red Roses.

England Women:

15. Emily Scarratt (Lichfield, 73 caps)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries, 37 caps)
13. Megan Jones (Bristol, 8 caps)
12. Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies, 71 caps)
11. Kay Wilson (Richmond, 48 caps)
10. Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 90 caps)
9. Natasha Hunt (Lichfield, 40 caps)

1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies, 30 caps)
2. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, 32 caps)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol, 14 caps)
4. Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 20 caps)
5. Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 108 caps)
6. Alex Matthews (Richmond, 36 caps)
7. Marlie Packer (Bristol, 50 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (Bristol, 97 caps) (C)

16. Vicky Fleetwood (Saracens, 64 caps)
17. Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries, 128 caps)
18. Justine Lucas (Lichfield, 26 caps)
19. Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield, 50 caps)
20. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol, 35 caps)
21. La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 69 caps)
22. Amber Reed (Bristol, 43 caps)
23. Amy Wilson Hardy (Bristol, 9 caps)
 
Results semi final
 
England 20 – 3 France
Tries: Bern, Jones
Conversions: Scarratt (2)
Penalties: Scarratt (2)
 
Results Pool B
 
England 56 - 5 Spain
Tries: Jones, Wilson (4), Scarratt, Millar-Mills, Matthews, Cokayne, Thompson
Conversions: Mclean (2), Scarratt
 
England 56 - 13 Italy
Tries: Scarratt (2), Matthews, Thompson (2), Cokayne, Taylor, Waterman (2), Wilson Hardy
Conversions: Scarratt (2) Reed
 
England 47 - 26 USA
Tries: Scarratt, Penalty try, Packer (2), Mclean, Wilson Hardy, Cokayne
Conversions: Scarratt (5), Penalty try

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