Rugby World Cup: Sarah Hunter becomes England’s most capped player


Sarah Hunter made her debut in England in 2007
Place: Waitakere Stadium, Auckland Date: October 30, Sunday Start: 01:30 BST
Coverage: Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live; follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Captain Sarah Hunter will become England’s most capped international and women’s player when she makes her 138th appearance in Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final against Australia.

Tatyana Heard will make a surprise move from center to defender Helena Rowland.

Abby Dow starts on the wing as Claudia MacDonald leaves the 23 with a strained calf.

Hunter called the career record “the thing I’m most proud of in my life.”

The 37-year-old made his England debut in 2007 and became captain after winning the World Cup with the Red Roses in 2014.

Hunter led the way as they lost the 2017 final to New Zealand and won 10 10 Nations titles in his 15-year career.

Short gray presentation line

England: Rowlands; Thompson, Scarratt, Heard, Dow; Harrison, Infanta; Cornborough, Cokayne, Bern, Aldcroft, Ward, Matthews, M Packer, Hunter (capt).

Replacements: Davies, Botterman, Muir, Galligan, Cleall, L Packer, Aitchison, Kildunne.

Short gray presentation line

England’s starting XV looked set after England’s first two games, but manager Simon Middleton has made some surprising changes at the back as the knockout stages begin.

Heard, 27, made his first appearance for three years in September but impressed in last weekend’s game against South Africa.

Rowland passes to full back from the 12, Ellie Kildunne drops to the bench.

The forward pack is as expected and starts with Sarah Bern winning her 50th cap for her country.

Among the substitutes, hooker Lark Davies will make his first tournament appearance after recovering from an ankle injury.