- Gary Street makes seven changes
- England looking for consolation victory to finish tour
Photo: Getty Images
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 the tourists 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 3:35am BST).
Lichfield’s Sarah Hunter will once again lead England as she moves to No.8 – handing talented youngster Alexandra Matthews her second start of the series at flanker.
Experienced prop Rochelle Clark also comes into the pack, while 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 freshest group of players available. The players are in good spirits and have had a couple of days rehabbing and analysing the games. 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. If they do, 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.”
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, captain)
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)
England v New Zealand Series:
New Zealand 29 England 10, Saturday July 13, Eden Park.
New Zealand 14 England 9, Tuesday July 16, Waikato Stadium
New Zealand v England, Saturday July 20, ECOLight Stadium (kick-off 3:35am BST)