Sarah Hunter to become most-capped England international in quarter-final against Australia

Sarah Hunter will play her 138th Test for England
Sarah Hunter will play her 138th Test for England

Skipper Sarah Hunter is set to become England's most-capped Test player as they lock horns with Australia in the quarter-final of the World Cup in Auckland on Sunday.

Hunter has had a stellar career since her international debut in 2007 and was part of the 2014 winning World Cup squad. She captained them in the 2017 edition of World Cup when they lost the final to New Zealand.

Simon Middleton has named Tatyana Heard at inside centre pushing Helena Rowland to fullback at the expense of Sarah McKenna.

Abby Dow starts at left wing with Lydia Thompson at right while vice-captain Emily Scarratt returns at inside centre. Leanne Infante starts at scrum-half with Vickii Cornborough, Amy Cokayne and Sarah Bern forming back row. Zoe Aldcroft and Abbie Ward are the preferred lock pairing.

"England against Australia is always a huge occasion in any sport and we are looking forward to playing against a team we don't face very often," head coach Simon Middleton said.

"Excitement has certainly built this week ahead of what is a massive game.

"We know the importance of a fast start on Sunday. Australia have had some very fast starts in their pool games so it is important we better their effort and set the tempo and physicality levels.

"Off the back of three strong pool games, in which I think it's fair to say every player has put their hand up, we have gone for a 23 we believe fits the bill for this particular game."

England: 15. Helena Rowland, 14. Lydia Thompson, 13. Emily Scarratt, 12. Tatyana Heard, 11. Abby Dow, 10. Zoe Harrison, 9. Leanne Infante, 1. Vickii Cornborough, 2. Amy Cokayne, 3. Sarah Bern, 4. Zoe Aldcroft, 5. Abbie Ward, 6. Alex Matthews, 7. Marlie Packer, 8. Sarah Hunter (c).

Reserves: 16. Lark Davies, 17. Hannah Botterman, 18. Maud Muir, 19. Rosie Galligan, 20. Poppy Cleall, 21. Lucy Packer, 22. Holly Aitchison, 23. Ellie Kildunne.