- Injured Rowland to miss out, Heard drops to the bench
- Coach Middleton confident players will rise to challenge
The England head coach, Simon Middleton, says he is confident his team will rise to the ultimate challenge when they face New Zealand in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final. Middleton has unveiled a slightly reshuffled starting XV containing the wing Lydia Thompson and the centre Holly Aitchison and believes his players are ready to embrace the extra pressure of the occasion.
In the absence of the injured Helena Rowland, Middleton has recalled the experienced Thompson to help contain the dangerous Black Ferns outside backs, while Aitchison replaces Tatyana Heard at inside‑centre. Ellie Kildunne will now start at full-back, with Heard and Claudia MacDonald on the bench.
Written by Robert Kitson in Auckland
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/nov/09/rugby-union-world-cup-final-england-thompson-aitchison-to-face-new-zealand under the title “England’s Thompson and Aitchison to face New Zealand in World Cup final”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.