England Women’s team announced for final Black Ferns Test
England Women’s Head Coach Gary Street has once again rung the changes for Saturday’s third and final Test match against the Black Ferns as England look for a first victory on New Zealand soil in 12 years.
Street has made seven changes in total, one positional, for Saturday’s clash at Pukekohe’s ECOLight Stadium, kick off 335am BST.
Lichfield’s Sarah Hunter will once again lead England and she moves to No.8 handing talented youngster Alexandra Matthews her second start of the series at flanker.
Also in the pack experienced prop Rochelle Clark comes in whilst lock Tamara Taylor will start alongside Joanne McGilchrist to form a tried and tested second-row partnership.
In the backs speedster Katherine Merchant returns on the wing as does Amber Reed in the centre. La Toya Mason will start at scrum-half.
Street said: “We are fielding our most fresh group of players available. The players are in good spirits and have had a couple of days rehabbing and analysing the games and we are looking to finish this series on a high.”
England head into Saturday’s game on the back of two narrow defeats to the Black Ferns including a 14-9 loss on Tuesday which only saw New Zealand clinch the win in injury time.
“Winning is important but actually performance is key too,” added Street. “A win is nice but we are building towards a World Cup. The key thing for me is to get that right and if they do then the result will take care of itself. Certainly learning from the last two games is paramount.
“We have got to play for the full 80 minutes to win and not just play well for periods of the game. New Zealand are a quality side and when we have taken our foot off the pedal in the last two tests they have made us pay. For me it is about maintaining that level of performance in this final game and that the players give everything they’ve got to get the win.”
England: 15 Kay Wilson (Bristol), 14 Katherine Merchant (Worcester), 13 Amber Reed (Bristol), 12 Rachael Burford (Thurrock), 11 Michaela Staniford (Wasps), 10 Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 9 La Toya Mason (Wasps), 1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester), 2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield), 3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol), 4 Joanne McGilchrist (Wasps), 5 Tamara Taylor (Lichfield), 6 Alexandra Matthews (Richmond), 7 Marlie Packer (Bristol), 8 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield) (C) Replacements: 16 Emma Croker (Richmond). 17 Laura Keates (Worcester), 18 Kate Newton (Bristol), 19 Emily Braund (Lichfield), 20 Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield), 21 Ceri Large (Worcester), 22 Francesca Matthews (Richmond), 23 Sally Tuson (Bristol)
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