England Women name side to play South Africa
Leanne Riley in action
England Women have named their side to take on South Africa in their second Nations Cup game in Colorado on Saturday, kick off 11pm GMT.
Prop Claire Purdy will captain the side and there are three debutants in Leanne Riley, Amy Wilson-Hardy and Kate Hancock.
Acting Head Coach Graham Smith’s side fell to a narrow 28-25 loss against Canada in their opening game, but he says that his players are ready to take on South Africa.
He said: “We had some honest conversations with the players after the Canada game and the key factors to the loss were our attention to detail and errors in our one-on-one defence, which we have worked to address in training.
“The focus of this tour is to develop individuals and give opportunities and the changes in selection reflect this. The three new caps in the backs have shown real quality in training and have the opportunity to replicate this in their first full international game.
“Playing England always brings out the best in our opposition. The South African performance against USA was very strong – they are physical and have some real game breakers. They have a deep-rooted rugby heritage and the nature of South African rugby is physical and competitive and this game on Saturday will be no different.”
England Women starting XV to play South Africa: 15 Kate Hancock, 14 Georgina Roberts, 13 Amy Wilson–Hardy, 12 Lauren Cattell, 11 Leanne Riley, 10 Emily Scott, 9 Charlotte Keane
1 Claire Purdy (c), 2 Mercedes Foy, 3 Justine Lucas, 4 Rebecca Essex, 5 Zoe Saynor, 6 Fiona Fletcher, 7 Victoria Fleetwood, 8 Harriet Millar Mills
Replacements: 16 Emma Croker, 17 Rochelle Clark, 18 Laura Keates, 19 Isabelle Noel-Smith, 20 Sarah Hunter, 21 Fiona Davidson, 22 Ceri Large, 23 Kay Wilson
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