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'Could be in Egypt for all we care': Red Roses focused ahead of RWC final

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Fiona Goodall - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

History will be made at Eden Park this weekend as the Black Ferns look to defend their World Cup crown in an epic final against a record-breaking England side.


The World Cup final has sold out, with the Black Ferns expected to receive plenty of support as they chase rugby immortality in front of their home fans this Saturday.

But the Red Roses, who are on a 30-Test unbeaten streak, don’t seem too concerned about taking on the defending champions in front of their home fans.

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England fullback Ellie Kildunne, who is potentially a few days away from playing in her first World Cup final, said she’d be prepared to play anywhere – even Egypt.

“That is something that goes down in history. New Zealand in New Zealand, in a rugby country. They’re such a good team and they’ve got a long list of things they’ve achieved,” Kildunne told RugbyPass.

“It doesn’t matter that we’re in New Zealand right now, we could be in England, we could be in France, we could be in Egypt for all we care. It’s the 80-minutes that we’re focused on.

“It’d be amazing that it’d be in New Zealand but we’ve got to get job one done, which is get on the pitch and get the points and then get the trophy and go home.”


World No. 1 England survived a scare against Canada last weekend in their semi-final to qualify for the final.

The Red Roses raced out to an early 12-nil lead after tries to Marlie Packer and Abigail Dow, before the underdogs fought their way back to level the scores.

While a valiant Canadian team never took the lead, they certainly had their chances to potentially pull off one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.

England were only leading by nine points when Vickii Cornborough was yellow carded in the 54th minute, but Canada failed to score during that period.


But Canada did score next, reducing the deficit to just four points, but that’s as close as they got.

“We practice every day to be put in that position and come in with high pressure,” she said.

“Canada were a very, very good team, are a very good team, and super strong defensively and in their attack, they just kept the ball for so long.

“That’s why we train to be able to keep our nerves and then hold it together in times where it matters, and as a team we did very well to keep them out because they had the ball for a long time.

“I think it’s a credit to use as a team to be able to keep another team out when they’ve got that (much ball).”

England are potentially 80-minutes away from winning their first women’s Rugby World Cup since 2014, where they beat Canada 21-9 in Paris.

They had the chance to go back-to-back during the last World Cup in 2017, but lost to the Black Ferns in the final 41-32.

There are players in the squad who were involved in those games, including star Sarah Hunter who was involved in both, who have helped guide the current squad throughout this Cup.

“I think they’ve all given us insights, but every World Cup is different from the last.

“As much as they’ve been in multiple World Cups, they’ve been very good at treating this like a new one and guiding us, and being there for the sport.

“Almost help you along with the emotions and give you a bit of an idea of the ups and downs that are gonna come from being away from your family, and the pressures that are going to be there.

“it’s just really helped us as a team to get a bit of an idea of how we’re going to be feeling because it’s a first for quite a few of us here.”


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