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Four county stars set to start for England in tomorrow's World Cup final against Canada

By lauracfell  |  Posted: August 16, 2014

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COUNTY stars Danielle Waterman and Natasha Hunt will start for England in their World Cup final against Canada tomorrow (5.45pm) in France.

They will be joined by former Prince Henry’s High School pupil Katherine Merchant on the wing and former University of Gloucestershire student and prop Sophie Hemming.

Drybrook fly-half Ceri Large and and former Hartpury College student Alex Matthews have been named on the bench.

University of Gloucestershire student Heather Fisher has not been named in the squad.

Head coach Gary Street has made just two changes to the side that ruthlessly defeated Ireland 40-7 in the semi-final, recalling Drybrook scrum-half Hunt and Marlie Packer to the starting line-up.

Fullback Waterman, a University of Gloucestershire student, will win her 60th cap in her third World Cup final appearance.

England were beaten by New Zealand in 2002, 2006 and 2010 and the clash at Stade Jean Bouin tomorrow will be their fourth consecutive final on the world stage.

Street said: "It was immensely tough to select this team.

"We have 26 players fit and everyone is in a really good place freshness wise so it was a very tough call.

"Natasha has had a fantastic tournament and is also fresh from the semi-final having only just come on in the second half.

"She adds a real pace to our game which I think is going to be hugely important.”

England drew 13-13 with Canada in the group stages, an experience Street has said will be "useful".

He continued: “Canada really brought their A game to that match and we didn’t perform as we wanted to.

"However, the errors that we made then we have learned from and we showed that in our performance against Ireland.

“Rugby World Cup finals are obviously very special but we are genuinely just thinking about playing Canada as just another game.

"We have to. In 2010 we felt a real weight of expectation going into the final and we have learned a lot from that experience.”

ENGLAND: D Waterman, K Merchant, E Scarratt, R Burford, K Wilson, K McLean, N Hunt, R Clark, V Fleetwood, S Hemming, T Taylor, J McGilchrist, M Packer, M Alphonsi, S Hunter

REPLACEMENTS: E Croker, L Keates, R Essex, A Matthews, L T Mason, C Large, C Allen

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