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Bristol and Gloucester-Hartpury name teams for Allianz PWR Final

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

The line-ups for the upcoming Allianz PWR final have been confirmed, with Gloucester-Hartpury naming an unchanged side from their semi-final team and Bristol Bears making three changes.

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Gloucester-Hartpury’s Head Coach Sean Lynn has named an unchanged starting XV from their semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs.

A front row of Mackenzie Carson, Neve Jones, and Maud Muir will lead the pack, supported by Sarah Beckett and Sam Monaghan in the engine room.

Co-captain Zoe Aldcroft will start at No.8, flanked by Georgia Brock and Bethan Lewis. Natasha ‘Mo’ Hunt will start at scrum-half with Lleucu George outside her. The midfield combination of Tatyana Heard and Hannah Jones remains intact, with Pip Hendy, Mia Venner and Emma Sing in the backfield.

The replacements bench includes Amy Dale, El Perry, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Kate Williams, and Steph Else covering forwards, while Bianca Blackburn, Millie Hyett and Rachel Lund are available as backs replacements.

Gloucester-Hartpury have won 11 of their last 14 Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby matches against Bristol Bears, including each of their last six, however, three of their last four wins against the Bears have come by margins of fewer than 10 points.

In contrast Bristol Bears have made three changes to their line-up from the semi-final against Saracens. The return of England star Sarah Bern from long-term injury strengthens their front row, joining international teammates Hannah Botterman and Lark Atkin-Davies.

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Courtney Keight replaces the injured Deborah Wills on the wing, and Scotland international Meryl Smith is named at full-back, with Ella Lovibond moving to the bench.

Head Coach Dave Ward said: “We’re both proud and excited to be competing in the final of the Allianz PWR on Saturday. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to make history and we’re relishing the challenge ahead of us. We have a huge amount of respect for Gloucester-Hartpury and what they have achieved, but after two close games against them this season, we arrive here today confident that we can be the team lifting the trophy come full time.”

Bristol Bears have won six of their last seven Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby matches, only failing to beat Sale Sharks during the final round of the regular season (24-27).

Gloucester: 15 Emma Sing; 14 Mia Venner, 13 Hannah Jones, 12 Tatyana Heard, 11 Pip Hendy; 10 Lleucu George, 9 Natasha ‘Mo’ Hunt (CC); 1 Mackenzie Carson, 2 Neve Jones, 3 Maud Muir, 4 Sarah Beckett, 5 Sam Monaghan, 6 Georgia Brock, 7 Bethan Lewis and 8 Zoe Aldcroft (CC)

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Replacements: 16. Amy Dale, 17. El Perry, 18. Sisilia Tuipulotu, 19. Kate Williams, 20. Steph Else, 21. Bianca Blackburn, 22. Millie Hyett, 23. Rachel Lund

Bristol: 15. Meryl Smith; 14. Reneeqa Bonner, 13. Phoebe Murray, 12. Holly Aitchison, 11. Courtney Keight, 10. Amber Reed, 9. Keira Bevan; 1. Hannah Botterman, 2. Lark Atkin-Davies, 3. Sarah Bern, 4. Delaney Burns, 5. Abbie Ward, 6. Alisha Butchers, 7. Evie Gallagher, 8. Rownita Marston-Mulhearn.

Replacements: 16. Jess Sprague, 17. Simi Pam, 18. Elliann Clarke, 19. Hollie Cunningham, 20. Gabriella Nigrelli, 21. Lucy Burgess, 22. Ella Lovibond, 23. Jenny Hesketh.

Match official:  Sara Cox.

Assistant Referees: Harry Walbaum and Holly Woo

TMO: Nikki O’Donnell

The match kicks off at 3 pm.

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