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Hunt should be left out of England’s World Cup squad

Experienced scrum-half Natasha ‘Mo’ Hunt is expected to be the most high-profile omission from the England squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Simon Middleton names his selection of 32 Red Roses players on Tuesday morning, however pleasemynews understands players were notified Thursday night if they were included.

Hunt, who won 60 caps and lifted the World Cup in 2014, is expected to be the most surprising player left out of the traveling squad, having looked likely to be included after returning to international duty during the Women’s Six Nations. .

Leanne Infante, Claudia MacDonald and Lucy Packer are believed to have been favored as Middleton’s scrum-half options.

Middleton also thought to consider whether to include an additional specialist lock rather than a sixth back rower from ten back-five forwards who are expected to be chosen.

England travel to New Zealand on a record 25 win streak, beating Wales 73-7 in their final warm-up match against Wales on Wednesday.

Speaking after the win over Wales, Middleton hinted he had seen what he needed from his side to finalize his selection.

“We were good and absolutely delighted with the performance,” said the England head coach.

“We took out of the performance what we wanted, which was to give this particular group of players the confidence to play together again for the first time in some time. They are a great team. If we want to be absolutely awesome, we know what we have to do and we’ll do our best. »

Hunt’s omission would be a blow for a player who ‘stepped back’ from the Red Roses’ setup at the start of 2021.

The 33-year-old was part of the Great Britain Sevens team at Tokyo 2020 which finished fourth.

The versatile MacDonald’s surprise return from a feared career-ending neck injury meant four nines had to be reduced to three, with the Harlequins young Packer seen as well regarded by the England coaching staff.

Wing Abby Dow is set to make the cut as she nears full fitness after recovering from a broken leg suffered during the Women’s Six Nations.

Middleton has previously suggested Dow are “on track” to potentially return for England’s opener against Fiji on Saturday October 8.

Alongside meeting Fiji on the first day of action in New Zealand, England take on France and South Africa in Pool C.

Middleton’s side scored 174 tries during their 25-game winning streak, winning each game by an average margin of 39 points.

They head to the World Cup as heavy favorites to reclaim a crown won twice before (1994 and 2014) after losing in the final to the Black Ferns in 2017.

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