In 24 hours time, the final round of pool matches at this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup will be well underway and once they have been completed, we will know who will have made the semi-finals.
Ireland and England, who both have the strongest level of support in the competition, are both undefeated yet the two teams are both entering their final pool fixtures with deeply contrasting levels of confidence.
England have eased into their final meeting with the USA after dominant wins over Spain and Italy while Ireland have laboured to victory over Australia and Japan before facing France on Thursday.
Both teams will face their toughest matches to date as both the USA and France are also undefeated and it keeps things relatively simple, whoever wins these fixtures, will secure a place in the semi-finals.
Both countries have named their match day squads and Ireland have included Leah Lyons, Ciara Griffin, Sophie Spence and Nicole Cronin as the only changes to the starting team to beat Australia in the opening round.
Both Spence and Griffin scored tries from the bench in the opening game against the Walaroos while Lyons and Cronin impressed against Japan.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) August 16, 2017
England have made six changes to the team that beat Italy the last time out and Simon Middleton’s side is full of talent both in the starting XV and on the bench.
Sarah Hunter returns to captain the side while props Vickii Cornborough and Sarah Bern come into the front row. Abbie Scott comes in at lock to complete three changes to the tight-five which overcame Italy.
Katy McLean takes up the pivotal flyhalf position, while Kay Wilson, who scored four tries against Spain is on the wing.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) August 16, 2017
England face off against the USA at 14:30 while Ireland meet France at 19:45.
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