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England are ready says skipper McLean

24 November 2011

  • Captain Katy McLean says England are raring to go
  • Saturday’s match at Twickenham a repeat of 2010 WRWC Final
England Women's captain Katy McLean in action against Canada this season

Photo: RFU Archive

England Women’s captain Katy McLean says her side are as ready as they will ever be to take on the world champions New Zealand on Saturday, kick off 5pm, at Twickenham Stadium following Australia versus the Barbarians.

McLean, who will lead her side for the first time against the mighty Black Ferns, is a survivor of the 2010 Rugby World Cup final which England narrowly lost 13-10

Saturday marks the first time these two sides have met since that day and there is no doubt that the rivalry between England and New Zealand is as fierce as it has ever been.

Fly half McLean, in her second season of captaining England, said: "We have been in our training camp for four days now and we have fitted a lot in. It is great being back in the camp environment; there’s a brilliant atmosphere with the new players fitting in well with the more experienced heads. It is certainly a good place to be at the moment.

"We have covered a lot in the time we’ve had and we are feeling good right now. Now it is a matter of counting down until Saturday as we can’t wait for this challenge. It’s time to stop talking off the pitch and do it on it and we are really ready."

England Women's fly half Katy McLean scores a try against Scotland in the 2010 6 Nations at Twickenham

Photo: RFU Archive

McLean knows better than most how devastated England were 14 months ago when New Zealand were crowned world champions. It was the third world cup final in a row where England failed to topple the all-conquering Black Ferns. But with time for reflection McLean is adamant that England and New Zealand are evenly matched rivals which will undoubtedly provide a thriller on Saturday.

The Darlington Mowden Park Sharks player added: "A year ago we didn’t play so well. There is no doubt that New Zealand played better than us on the day but it was down to a performance on that day rather than there being a massive gulf between us and them. I know that if we had played the game we wanted to then we could have won.

"New Zealand are a phenomenal side but I think the pressure is on them. They are the world champions and I know if we can play at our best we have the ability to defeat them. The Twickenham pitch suits us and we have a good winning record there and we have every intention of maintaining that. New Zealand are not unbeatable."

Saturday’s game signals the first of three test matches between England and New Zealand this autumn. The two sides will also clash on November 29 and December 3 at Esher RFC.

England Autumn International Series

Tickets for England Women v New Zealand Women at Twickenham on November 26 are available via RFU.com and group booking are available from the RFU by calling 0871 22 22 017, option 6. Prices range from £65 to £35. Junior tickets cost just £15.

Tickets for the international tests at Esher RFC on November 29 and December 3 will be available on the gate and cost £10 for adults and £5 for juniors. They can also be purchased in advance at www.esherrugby.com