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Nations Cup third round news

We look ahead to the penultimate round of games at this season's Nations Cup

With the second day of the Nations Cup matches pushed back a day due to poor weather at the weekend, teams have had one less day to prepare for the third round of the competition.

USA are in pole position to reach this weekend's final with two wins from two so far, while Canada and England have one win each.

USA v England (18:00 local time, 00:00 GMT)

USA are the only undefeated side at the tournament after victories over South Africa and Canada, so they go into the final game high in confidence.

Jillion Potter, one of five Women’s Eagles Sevens players who have come into the squad following the bronze medal performance at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens, captains the side from number 8.

After coming off of the bench to score two vital tries in Sunday’s win against Canada, Sarah Chobot will start at loose-head prop. Ashley Kmiecik will partner Nathalie Marchino on the wing and Christy Ringgenberg will serve as vice-captain from the fullback position.

“We want to win the game against England,” head coach Pete Steinberg said. “We have some players who are banged up after a physical Canada game, but generally we have selected the best side available based on play.”

Having sneaked a win by a point against South Africa in their second outing at the weekend, England have made a raft of changes to face the in form hosts.

Only Richmond lock Rebecca Essex, Lichfield’s Victoria Fleetwood and Thurrock fly-half Emily Scott retain their place in the starting XV from the last game.  Lichfield’s Sarah Hunter returns to lead the team whilst Worcester’s Ceri Large has been named as vice-captain.

After England’s win against South Africa and a 25-18 defeat to Canada in the opening round of games this is a must win match for England if they are to make Saturday’s final.

Acting head coach Graham Smith said: “We have selected a team that reflects our aims and ambitions for the tour which is to give players opportunities so we can access who has World Cup potential. The final two games will give us another opportunity to look at the squad we have brought.

  “The USA’s performance against Canada last week was very strong and they have dynamic forward players and pace in the backs but then so do we.

USA:  1. Sarah Chobot, 2. Kittery Wagner, 3. Hope Rogers, 4. Stacey Bridges, 5. Molly Kinsella, 6. Kristin Zdanczewicz, 7. Lynelle Kugler, 8. Jillion Potter (C), 9. Jocelyn Tseng, 10. Kimber Rozier, 11. Ashley Kmiecik, 12. Sylvia Braaten, 13. Emilie Bydwell, 14. Nathalie Marchino, 15. Christy Ringgenberg
Replacements: 16. Jamie Burke, 17. Sarah Wilson, 18. Katy Augustyn, 19. Carmen Farmer, 20. Kate Daley, 21. Deven Owsiany, 22. Anne Peterson, 23. Meya Bizer

England: 15 Kay Wilson (Bristol), 14 Julie Hope (Carlisle), 13 Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond), 12 Ceri Large (Worcester) (VC), 11 Lydia Thompson (Worcester), 10 Emily Scott (Thurrock), 9 Fiona Davidson (Richmond), 1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester), 2 Emma Croker (Richmond), 3 Laura Keates (Worcester), 4 Rebecca Essex (Richmond) , 5 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond) , 6 Isabelle Noel-Smith (Bristol) , 7 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield) , 8 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield) (C)
Replacements: 16 Mercedes Foy (Thurrock) , 17 Claire Purdy (Wasps) , 18 Justine Lucas     (Lichfield) , 19 Zoe Saynor (Bristol) , 20 Harriet Millar-Mills (Bristol) , 21 Charlotte Keane (Worcester), 22 Megan Goddard (Worcester) , 23 Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol)

Canada v South Africa (16:00 local time, 22:00 GMT)

Canada Head Coach Francois Ratier has made very few changes from the side who lost to USA, as his team looks to secure their place in the Nations Cup Final with a win on Wednesday.

 Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid comes into the front-row and is joined by Hilary Leith, who returns to the starting pack this week against South Africa.

The counter a very strong South African scrum, who looked dominant at times against the English, Latoya Blackwood also makes her return to the Canadian second-row; following a rest against the United States.

British Columbia’s Julia Sugawara steps into the fly-half role with the backline remaining otherwise unchanged.

The South African women came within one point, and a few minutes, of handing England their second defeat of the tournament and showed high levels of pace and class in that game.

As is often the case with South African sides, ill discipline was a key factor in them losing the game and if they are to have any hope of winning this one, they will need to keep that in check.

South Africa have not yet named their squad for the game

Canada: 1. Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, 2. Kim Donaldson, 3. Hilary Leith, 4. Latoya Blackwood, 5. Maria (Jaworski) Samson, 6. Megan Gibbs, 7. Kelly Russell,8. Jacey Murphy, 9. Stephanie Bernier, 10. Julia Sugawara, 11. Magali Harvey, 12. Andrea Burk, 13. Amanda Thornborough, 14. Bianca Farella, 15. Elissa Alarie,
Replacements: 16. Laura Russell, 17. Sammy Crandell, 18. Mary-Jane Kirby, 19. Caitlin Beaton, 20. Tyson Beukeboom, 21. Sara Kalivee, 22. Jessica Dovanne, 23. Katie McNally