All three ex-Welwyn players will start for England in the Rugby World Cup semi-final against Canada.

Hannah Botterman, who began her rugby journey with Datchworth, comes in at loose-head prop while Zoe Harrison and Helena Rowland retain their positions as fly-half and full-back from the quarter-final success against Australia.

Winger Claudia MacDonald returns on the left after missing the last two games due to injury and England's new most-capped player, Sarah Hunter, captains the side again from number eight.

Head coach Simon Middleton said: "I was really pleased with our performance against Australia in what were tough conditions. The players produced a professional performance and deserve great credit.

"Continuity is an important factor in team selection and we have achieved that through training, the pool stages and the quarter-final.

"Having said that, if you see an opportunity to improve or create different pictures that you believe could benefit the team’s performance, you have to be brave enough with your selections to make those calls.

"We have done that throughout the competition to date and that philosophy will not change.

"Canada are an opponent we know well with great pedigree and history in the women’s game. We know they are a strong side. We respect all they might bring but are focussed on our own performance.

"Our objective was to leave this country as a better squad than we arrived and to do that we need to move our game on again this week.

"If we do that and produce the level of performance we are capable of then we are confident we will get the right result."

The game at Eden Park in Auckland kicks off at 3.30am UK time on Saturday and will be shown live on ITV.


England matchday squad to play Canada

15. Helena Rowland (Loughborough Lightning, 21 caps)
14. Abby Dow (Wasps, 29 caps)
13. Emily Scarratt (VC; Loughborough Lightning, 106 caps)
12. Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury, 7 caps)
11. Claudia MacDonald (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens, 44 caps)
9. Leanne Infante (Saracens, 56 caps)
1. Hannah Botterman (Saracens, 34 caps)
2. Amy Cokayne (Harlequins, 68 caps)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears, 50 caps)
4. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury, 36 caps)
5. Abbie Ward (Bristol Bears, 59 caps)
6. Alex Matthews (Gloucester-Hartpury, 54 caps)
7. Marlie Packer (Saracens, 87 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (C; Loughborough Lightning, 138 caps)

16. Lark Davies (Bristol Bears, 42 caps)
17. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins, 73 caps)
18. Maud Muir (Gloucester-Hartpury, 15 caps)
19. Rosie Galligan (Harlequins, 9 caps)
20. Poppy Cleall (Saracens, 61 caps)
21. Lucy Packer (Harlequins, 8 caps)
22. Holly Aitchison (Saracens, 13 caps)
23. Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins, 29 caps)