England have made six changes for their decisive clash against the United States in their final pool match of the Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Sarah Hunter will return to captain the side having been left on the bench for last Sunday’s game against Italy, while Katy Mclean will return at flyhalf and hooker Vicky Fleetwood drops to the bench after picking up a minor injury.
Danielle Waterman remains at fullback, meaning she is the only England player to start all three of England’s pool matches.
Speaking ahead of the game, England coach Simon Middleton stressed the importance of making it through to the semifinals.
“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,” said Middleton.
“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. “They play a very physical game and have some dangerous players.
“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 the entire squad and it’s now about going out and making sure we put in a full 80-minute performance.”
Both teams are unbeaten heading into the game on Thursday, meaning whoever wins between England and the U.S. will be guaranteed a spot in the semifinals, while the losers will be left waiting to see whether they have done enough to earn the best runners-up spot to advance.
Meanwhile, hosts Ireland have also made six changes ahead of their encounter against France.
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England make six changes for U.S. decider
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