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Women’s Rugby

Rowland and Svoboda represent Lightning in WXV 1 finales

Loughborough Lightning’s Helena Rowland and Sara Svoboda are set to represent the Club in the final round of WXV 1 matches on Saturday (4 November), as the pair start for England and Canada respectively. 

Centre Rowland is named vice-captain for the table-topping England as the Red Roses take on New Zealand with an unchanged starting XV from the side that defeated Canada 45-12 last weekend. Rowland’s side need just two points from the final clash to secure an inaugural WXV 1 title, but with Saturday’s opposition the Black Ferns sitting in second place in the table its all still to play for in Auckland. 

Interim England head coach Louis Deacon said: “As a group, we have developed immensely over the past 15 weeks on and off the field, and I am proud of the progress we have made.

“We have enjoyed each other’s company and experienced the trials and tribulations of a long campaign together. Everyone has bought into the direction we want to go and, to date, we have reaped the rewards on pitch for our efforts.

“We have an opportunity to take another step forward on Saturday night against the tournament hosts and it’s one we are relishing.”

Meanwhile, club teammate Svoboda starts for Canada in the Maple Leafs’ final match of the tournament, with the Lightning back rower set to face France on Saturday. Canada sit in third-place in the table after two rounds, and will be hoping to bounce back from their loss to England last weekend to round of their tournament with a win. 

“Everyone in the team has worked very hard at training, it has been a good week for us,” said Canada head coach Kevin Rouet.

“France are a top three team in the world and right now we are fourth. They are another team we are trying to reach in the rankings and trying to beat.

“We were disappointed after our loss to England last week, so the team is glad to have the opportunity to bounce back and play against another one of the top teams in the world.”

FRANCE vs CANADA

WXV 1
Saturday 4 November
Go Media Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Kick-off: 4pm (GMT). Live coverage on RugbyPassTV

CANADA: 15 Sarah-Maude Lachance, 14 Paige Farries, 13 Fancy Bermudez, 12 Alexandra Tessier, 11 Krissy Scurfield, 10 Julia Schell, 9 Justine Pelletier; 1 McKinley Hunt, 2 Emily Tuttosi, 3 DaLeaka Menin, 4 Tyson Beukeboom, 5 Courtney Holtkamp, 6 Gabrielle Senft, 7 Sara Svoboda, 8 Sophie de Goede.
Replacements: 16 Gillian Boag, 17 Brittany Kassil, 18 Alexandria Ellis, 19 Laetitia Royer, 20 Julia Omokhuale, 21 Olivia Apps, 22 Shoshanah Seumanutafa, 23 Florence Symonds.

ENGLAND vs NEW ZEALAND

WXV 1
Saturday 4 November
Go Media Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Kick-off: 7pm (GMT). Live coverage on ITVX

ENGLAND: 15 Ellie Kildunne, 14 Abby Dow, 13 Helena Rowland (vice-captain), 12 Tatyana Heard, 11 Claudia MacDonald, 10 Holly Aitchison, 9 Natasha Hunt; 1 Mackenzie Carson, 2 Lark Atkin-Davies, 3 Sarah Bern, 4 Zoe Aldcroft (vice-captain), 5 Rosie Galligan, 6 Morwenna Talling, 7 Marlie Packer (captain), 8 Alex Matthews.
Replacements: 16 Amy Cokayne, 17 Hannah Botterman, 18 Maud Muir, 19 Sarah Beckett, 20 Maisy Allen, 21 Ella Wyrwas, 22 Megan Jones, 23 Jess Breach.

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