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Landmark beckons for Hunter as England eye Super Series supremacy

Landmark beckons for Hunter as England eye Super Series supremacy

Sarah Hunter will become the second-most capped England women’s player of all-time when she attempts to lead her side to Super Series success on Sunday.

Sarah Hunter will become the second-most capped England women’s player of all-time when she attempts to lead her side to Super Series success on Sunday.

The 33-year-old forward is in line for her 116th cap when Simon Middleton’s side go head-to-head with New Zealand in the final round of the competition in San Diego on Sunday night (kick-off 9pm UK time).

Hunter led England to Grand Slam glory at the 2019 Women’s Six Nations and will replace Tamara Taylor in the all-time England caps list, with Rocky Clark still sitting top of the pile on 137.

Meanwhile, the Red Roses, who top the Super Series table following wins over the United States, Canada and France, will be crowned winners with victory over New Zealand and are already due to move ahead of the Black Ferns to number one in the World Rugby rankings.

“We’re really looking forward to facing New Zealand in what should be a great end to the Super Series,” said England head coach Middleton.

“We’ve shown real character in the past two matches to come away with late victories and we saw a significant step-up in our performance against France.

“However, we know we will have to go up another level this Sunday as we’re facing the world champions.

“On their day, they are one of the most challenging teams to play against but we have spoken about peaking in performance for this final game of the series, and that is what we will be expecting.

“The belief and focus of the squad has been evident in our preparation and now it is about delivering that on the field this Sunday.”

Hooker Lark Davies replaces Heather Kerr while Claudia Macdonald and Emily Scott come in on the left wing and at inside centre respectively.

Three hours after England duke it out with New Zealand, France will bring the curtain down on their campaign against hosts the United States (kick-off 1:00am French time).

Samuel Cherouk’s charges were edged out 20-18 by England last time out and will go looking to end their summer campaign on a high, having taken the scalp of the Black Ferns on July 6.

Cherouk has shuffled his pack due to injury and fatigue, with the likes of Lise Arricastre and Caroline Thomas coming in, captain Gaëlle Hermet named at No.6, while Emerline Gros is picked at No.8.

“It’s impossible to say we do not want to win this game,” said head coach Cherouk.

“It would be nice to finish on a win because after this meeting, we will [not play] until the end of August.

“It must end on a positive note – then, we will do the debrief.

“We are not far but we are not there yet. We will have to continue to work.”