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Ten Lightning players named in five WXV matchday squads

Scotland have named all five of their Loughborough Lightning players in their starting line-up for their third and final WXV 2 match against Japan on Friday (kick-off: 1pm BST).

Rachel Malcolm is captain, Helen Nelson is vice captain, while Chloe Rollie, Christine Belisle and Emma Wassell will also run out at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.

Having won their first two games against South Africa and USA, Scotland go into the finale with a chance of winning the title. Both Italy and Scotland have ten points each after the first two rounds, with Italy currently topping the table due to a points difference of seven after their 36-18 win against South Africa.

Loughborough Lightning back Carys Williams-Morris has been named in the Wales starting line-up to face WXV 1 host nation and reigning world champions New Zealand on Saturday 28 October (kick-off: 4am, BST).

Both sides suffered opening round losses as Wales went down 42-22 to Canada while the Black Ferns were edged out 18-17 by France.

Wales have made seven changes to their side for Saturday’s game, with Williams-Morris being promoted from the bench to start on the left wing.

Ioan Cunningham, Wales Head coach, said: “We brought a squad of 30 players and the intention was to give as many players as we can the experience of playing against the best teams in the world in WXV1.

“We are excited to see this team face the challenge of playing the world champions in their own back yard. It will be a major challenge but it’s why we are here, and we want to test ourselves against the best.’’

Cath O’Donnell, of Loughborough Lightning, returns to England’s matchday squad for their WXV 1 Round 2 fixture with Canada on Friday (kick-off: 7am, BST). 

O’Donnell – who will earn her 30th England cap in Dunedin – comes into the side in the second row and is one of nine changes made from the side that kicked the competition off with a 42-7 win over Australia last week.

Lightning clubmate Helena Rowland retains her vice-captaincy and earns her 27th cap in the Red Roses’ midfield, but switches from inside to outside centre where she will partner Amber Reed.

Interim head coach Louis Deacon said: “We’ve named a team that we believe gives us the best opportunity to build on our momentum after the game last weekend. The energy has been positive throughout our time in New Zealand, and it’s been a great start to our time in Dunedin as we prepare for the next round of WXV.

 “Our Summer Series matches against Canada were the perfect warm-up for WXV and we have no doubt they will provide a stern test once again on Friday.”

Lightning’s Sara Svoboda, who was a tryscorer for Canada in their victory over Wales last weekend, retains her place in the starting line-up to face the Red Roses. 

The USA have selected Lightning lock Hallie Taufoou in their second row to face Italy in their WXV 2 match on Saturday 28 October (kick-off: 4pm, BST).

Fellow Lightning forward Kathryn Treder is named among the replacements.

ENGLAND v CANADA

WXV 1
Friday 27 October
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand
Kick-off: 7am (BST). Live coverage on ITVX.

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

CANADA: 15 Sarah-Maude Lachance, 14 Paige Farries, 13 Shoshanah Seumanutafa, 12 Alexandra Tessier, 11 Sarah-Maude Lachance, 10 Claire Gallagher, 9 Olivia Apps; 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 Ashlynn Smith, 20 Sara Cline, 21 Justine Pelletier, 22 Julia Schell, 23 Madison Grant.

SCOTLAND v JAPAN

WXV 2
Friday 27 October
Athlone Sports Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa
Kick-off: 1pm (BST). Live coverage on RugbyPassTV, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport Scotland website.

SCOTLAND: 15 Chloe Rollie,14 Rhona Lloyd, 13 Emma Orr, 12 Lisa Thomson, 11 Francesca McGhie, 10 Helen Nelson (vice captain), 9 Mairi McDonald; 1 Leah Bartlett, 2 Lana Skeldon, 3 Christine Belisle, 4 Emma Wassell5 Louise McMillan, 6 Rachel Malcolm (captain)7 Rachel McLachlan, 8 Evie Gallagher.
Replacements: 16 Elis Martin, 17 Anne Young, 18 Lisa Cockburn, 19 Sarah Bonar, 20 Jade Konkel, 21 Caity Mattinson, 22 Meryl Smith, 23 Liz Coreen Grant

NEW ZEALAND v WALES

WXV 1
Saturday 28 October
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand
Kick-off: 4am (BST). Live coverage on ITVX and S4C.

WALES: 15 Nel Metcalfe, 14 Jasmine Joyce,  13 Hannah Jones (captain), 12 Hannah Bluck, 11 Carys Williams-Morris, 10 Lleucu George, 9 Keira Bevan; 1 Gwenllian Pyrs, 2 Kelsey Jones, 3 Donna Rose, 4 Abbie Fleming, 5 Kate Williams, 6 Alisha Butchers (vice captain), 7 Alex Callend, 8 Sioned Harries.
Replacements: 16 Kat Evans, 17 Abbey Constable, 18 Sisilia Tuipulotu, 19 Bryonie King, 20 Bethan Lewis, 21 Meg Davies, 22 Robyn Wilkins, 23 Meg Webb.

USA v ITALY

WXV 2
Saturday 28 October
Athlone Sports Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa
Kick-off: 4pm (BST). Live coverage on RugbyPassTV.

USA:  15 Tess Feury, 14 Summer Harris-Jones, 13 Kate Zackary (captain), 12 Katana Howard, 11 Charlotte Clapp, 10 Gabby Cantorna,  9 Taina Tukuafu; 1 Catie Benson, 2 Paige Stathopoulos, 3 Keia Mae Sagapolu, 4 Hallie Taufoou, 5 Erica Jarrell, 6 Freda Tafuna, 7 Tahlia Brody, 8 Rachel Johnson.
Replacements: 16 Kathryn Treder, 17 Alivia Leatherman, 18  Charli Jacoby, 19 Jenny Kronish, 20 Rachel Ehrecke, 21 Carly Waters 22 Kristin Bitter, 23 Emily Henrich.

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