England’s Claudia MacDonald and Hannah Botterman return for Canada semi-final

England have made two changes for Saturday’s World Cup semi-final against Canada at Auckland’s Eden Park.

Claudia MacDonald returns from injury to replace Lydia Thompson on the wing and Hannah Botterman comes in for the benched Vickii Cornborough at loosehead prop.

Sarah Hunter, England’s most capped player, leads the team from number eight with Emily Scarratt present at outside centre.

Sarah Hunter leads England again
Sarah Hunter leads England again (Brett Phibbs/PA)

“Continuity is an important factor in team selection and we have achieved that through training, the pool stages and the quarter-final,” head coach Simon Middleton said.

“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 focused on our own performance.”

England: H Rowland (Loughborough Lightning), A Dow (Wasps), E Scarratt (Loughborough Lightning), T Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury), C MacDonald (Exeter Chiefs), Z Harrison (Saracens), L Infante (Saracens), H Botterman (Saracens), A Cokayne (Harlequins), S Bern (Bristol Bears), Z Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury), A Ward (Bristol Bears), A Matthews (Gloucester-Hartpury), M Packer (Saracens), S Hunter (Loughborough Lightning, capt).

Replacements: L Davies (Bristol Bears), V Cornborough (Harlequins), M Muir (Gloucester-Hartpury), R Galligan (Harlequins), P Cleall (Saracens), L Packer (Harlequins), H Aitchison (Saracens), E Kildunne (Harlequins).