Planet Rugby

Preview: Women's Cup, Round Two

04th August 2014 15:46


Ceri Large of England in action during the IRB Women s Rugby World Cup

England v Spain: Try-fest?

Round two of the Women's Rugby World Cup will see opening day winners Ireland and New Zealand face off in Pool B while France host South Africa in Pool A at Marcoussis.

Ireland have made just one change as they face the daunting task of taking down four-time winners New Zealand on Tuesday.

Blindside Paula Fitzpatrick comes into the side for the Irish, who got off to a winning start against the USA in their competition opener thanks to 18 points from Niamh Briggs.

However they will face a much stiffer task against the Black Ferns, who cruised as they hammered Kazakhstan 79-5 in their opening game.

And while Ireland go in as heavy underdogs, captain Fiona Coghlan believes her team should not be written off.

"They're world champions four times in a row but they have been beaten," she said.

"England have beaten them, Canada ran them close there in the summer internationals. So there are chinks in their armour and it's finding those chinks and exploiting them."

In the other game in Pool B the USA take on Kazakhstan in a must-win game if they are to stand any chance of reaching the semi-finals.

In Pool C, hosts France will be looking to take another step closer to the semi-finals as they take on South Africa.

Les Bleues have made 11 changes from the side that saw off Wales 26-0 in their opener, and another bonus point success would put them on the verge of the last four.

South Africa meanwhile, have made five changes, including a change of skipper, with number eight Mandisa Williams appealing against a 16-match ban handed out for contact with the eyes in the opening round, and fly-half Zenay Jordaan taking on captaincy duties.

In the other game in Pool C, Australia will be looking to make it two from two as they take on Wales, having beaten South Africa 26-3 in their opener, though crucially without picking up a bonus point.

Finally in Pool A, England have made 12 changes to the side that thrashed Samoa in their opening fixture, as they prepare to taken on Spain, who have never beaten them in nine attempts.

The Spanish lost their opening game to Canada, who will look to make it two from two as they take on Samoa. The Pacific Islanders will be deprived of full-back Soteria Pulumu, who was suspended for a spectacular tip-tackle in the opening round.

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