Street changes seven to face Canada

Date published: August 8 2014

England have named their team for their final Rugby World Cup pool match against Canada, at Marcoussis in France on Saturday.

England have named their line-up for Saturday's final Rugby World Cup pool match against Canada, at Marcoussis.

Head coach Gary Street has made seven changes to the starting line-up from Tuesday.

Lichfield's Sarah Hunter will once again captain England with Rachael Burford named as vice-captain. Full-back Danielle Waterman, centre Emily Scarratt and Hunter are the only players to start their third World Cup game on the bounce.

Worcester's Katherine Merchant returns on the wing after she was rested against Spain whilst Natasha Hunt is also back at scrum-half. Both players scored a brace of tries against Samoa in the World Cup opener. Large also gets the nod to start her second consecutive game at fly-half.

In the pack, the experienced heads of Rochelle Clark, Emma Croker, Tamar Taylor, Heather Fisher and Margaret Alphonsi all return to the starting line-up.

Street, whose side have so far recorded two bonus point wins against Samoa and Spain and currently top their pool, said: “As I have said all along we will rotate our squad and once again we have done that. It is exciting to have Katherine, Rachael and Natasha back in the backs whilst several of our forwards are chomping at the bit to get going again.

“Ceri will start at fly-half for her second game and is set to win her 30th cap against a side she really impressed against in last summer's Nations Cup. She also enjoyed a good game against Spain on Tuesday so she deserves this start. Having both Ceri and Katy in this position means we can rotate the squad which is what we need to do at a World Cup.”

England last played Canada in November 2013 and won 32-3 but just 12 months ago they lost the Nations Cup to Canada on American turf.

Street added: “Playing Canada is another step up – the games are getting harder. Canada are a good side and have got two good wins themselves in this tournament.

“We last played them in November but both sides have improved since then. We have tried to expand our game and Canada have too and you can see that in their World Cup performances so far. I think it will be another massively exciting game for this tournament. Canada are hugely physical, quick, strong and powerful but we have got that too and we are ready to go. This is a challenge we are relishing.”

England: 15 Danielle Waterman, 14 Katherine Merchant, 13 Emily Scarratt, 12 Rachael Burford, 11 Claire Allan, 10 Ceri Large, 9 Natasha Hunt, 8 Sarah Hunter (c), 7 Margaret Alphonsi, 6 Heather Fisher, 5 Tamara Taylor, 4 Rebecca Essex, 3 Sophie Hemming, 2 Emma Croker, 1 Rochelle Clark.
Replacements: 16 Victoria Fleetwood, 17 Laura Keates, 18 Joanna McGilchrist, 19 Alexandra Matthews, 20 La Toya Mason, 21 Katy Mclean, 22 Kay Wilson.