- Mclean says Canada will use RWC as motivation
- England look to make it two from two
Photo: RFU Archive
England Women’s captain Katy Mclean says Canada will be intent on securing the bragging rights ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup when they meet at the Twickenham Stoop on Wednesday, kick-off 7pm.
Mclean’s side have been drawn in the same pool as the North Americans in next year’s Rugby World Cup in France, alongside Samoa and Spain, and she expects this to be added motivation for the tourists.
“They’ll definitely be up for this after the World Cup draw,” said Mclean, who led England to a 40-20 win against France on Saturday. “This fixture definitely now has added meaning. It is going to be all about the bragging rights. This match is now a heads-up for both sides as it could well be the last time we play each other before the World Cup.”
A young England squad last played Canada in August and were on the wrong end of two defeats in the Nations Cup including a 27-13 defeat in the final. Canada, who defeated France 11-6 last week, will no doubt be confident heading into this fixture.
“Canada will definitely be buoyed by beating us in the Nations Cup but the pleasing thing for us is that we know we have improved since then and we are a different side,” added the fly half. “We made a good start against France on Saturday despite the pressure being on us. The French played well but our attacking ability at times caused them problems.
“We have just got to make sure we keep playing like that going forward. We want an 80-minute performance. That might not come as soon as Wednesday but as long as we keep moving forward that is a positive for us. Wednesday is definitely going to be an exciting night.”
England Head Coach Gary Street has rung the changes for Wednesday’s game with only four players wearing the same shirt as they did on Saturday against France. Worcester’s Lydia Thompson and Wasps’ Michaela Staniford start on the wings, Richmond’s Abigail Chamberlain comes in at centre and Natasha Hunt is at scrum half. Bristol’s Amber Reed also moves to full back to cover for the injured Kay Wilson.
In the pack, Claire Purdy and Victoria Fleetwood are also given the nod to start whilst Rowena Burnfield replaces Emily Braund in the second row. Lichfield’s Harriet Millar-Mills starts at No. 8 with Marlie Packer moving to open-side flanker and Hannah Gallagher coming in at No. 6.
“We’ve got lots of changes but I think the fresh legs are really going to help as the France game was so physical. We have really worked hard on our quality of depth and hopefully this will show on.”
Tickets for England’s clash against Canada are still available via www.ticketmaster.co.uk (0844 847 2492) and www.quins.co.uk (0208 410 6000). Tickets are priced £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s. You can also watch the match live on www.rfu.com/englandwomenlive or listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.
England team to play Canada
15 Amber Reed (Bristol)
14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester)
13 Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond)
12 Rachael Burford (Thurrock)
11 Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
10 Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) C
9 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
1 Claire Purdy (Wasps)
2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield)
3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol)
4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
5 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
6 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens)
7 Marlie Packer (Wasps)
8 Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield)
16 Emma Croker (Richmond)
17 Rochelle Clark (Worcester)
18 Sasha Acheson (Bristol)
19 Rebecca Essex (Richmond)
20 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens)
21 La Toya Mason (Wasps)
22 Ceri Large (Worcester)
23 Ruth Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
England Autumn International series:
- Nov 9, England 40 France 20, Twickenham Stadium
- Nov 13, England v Canada, The Twickenham Stoop, KO 7pm., live on www.rfu.com/englandwomenlive and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.