15th November 2019, 11:24 | englandrl
England Women will be looking to seal a 2-0 series victory over Papua New Guinea Orchids on Saturday at the Oil Search National Football Stadium, Port Moresby, in a game that will feature live on BBC Red Button, Online and Our League.
Craig Richards’ side began the historic tour with a 10-24 victory in Goroka last weekend in front of almost 7000 supporters and a repeat performance is the aim for Richards.
Richards said: “Despite the scoreline, the first game was anything but comfortable.
“The Orchids were a really physical side and even though we didn’t play as well as we could have done in parts you can’t take away the level of effort the girls put into the game.
“Of course, there were a few things we weren’t happy with including our completion rate. We’ve had plenty to work on this week in training and we’re confident of coming into the game and getting another victory.”
The England Women’s boss has made a handful of changes to his squad with Castleford duo Rhiannion Marshall and Shona Hoyle coming in alongside Wigan Warriors’ Georgia Wilson, St Helens’ Leah Burke and Leeds Rhinos youngster Caitlin Beevers. Sinead Peach – who was the 18th player in the Eastern Highlands last weekend – could feature.
Wilson and Burke are both in line to earn their first-ever international test caps after both featuring, and scoring, in the Downer World Cup Nines competition in Sydney last month.
Emily Rudge was the star of the show last weekend in Goroka becoming the first-ever England Women’s player to score four tries in a test match however the England Captain isn’t focused on personal accolades but coming away from PNG with a 2-0 series victory.
Rudge said: “It is going to be another big challenge for us as a team and for the girls.
“There are a couple of girls who haven’t come up against Papua New Guinea before and that will be a challenge for them. There is also a lot of hype around the game with it being shown live on BBC and Our League which means there is added pressure to perform.
“We have the additional issue of the heat as well which will only make the game tougher for us and we’re expected a really difficult game at the Oil Search Stadium on Saturday.
"But we’re coming into the game confident. We were happy with where we were at following Saturday’s victory and we’ve had a really good week preparing for this game in Port Moresby.”
On the opposing side is Elsie Albert, whose stature in defence stood out in Goroka and she is looking to lead the Orchids to a memorable victory on Saturday afternoon.
Albert said: “Following the loss we looked at the game and we didn’t executive the plans that we had wanted to in Goroka.
“We’re confident we will perform better in Port Moresby.”
Amy Johnson – who was originally named in the 19-player squad – has pulled out due to injury and Castleford forward Grace Field comes into the side for potentially her second international appearance.
As for the Orchids, Charity Emika, Angelika Nanege, Berthshiba Awoi and Tambam Watego could all come into the side while it seems Shirley Joe – who scored from acting half-back in Goroka – may move into the halves with Roswita Kapo starting the game at hooker.
England: Caitlin Beevers, Georgia Wilson, Naomi Williams, Tara-Jane Stanley, Leah Burke; Jodie Cunningham, Georgia Roche; Shona Hoyle, Sinead Peach, Dannielle Anderson, Emily Rudge, Shannon Lacey, Rhiannion Marshall; Charlotte Booth, Grace Field, Tamzin Renouf, Tara Jones; Chantelle Crowl, Faye Gaskin.
PNG Orchids: Gemma Schnaubelt, Ua Ravu, Belinda Gwasamum, Erswin Kaiat, Charity Emika; Shirley Joe, Lilah Malabag; Elsie Albert, Roswita Kapo, Elizabeth Paisoi, Carol Humeu, Gloria Kaupa, Janet John; Angelika Nanege, Berthshiba Awoi, Angela Tambam Watego, Kia Monaei; Seroge Sabumi, Lyiannah Allan.
The game will be available to watch live on BBC Red Button, BBC Online and Our League from 5am BST.