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‘We have to win it’ Simon Middleton sends out a rallying cry as he confirms the World Cup squad

“We have to win it,” Red Roses head coach Simon Middleton said on Tuesday after confirming his 32-man England squad for next month’s World Cup in New Zealand.

One could mistake Middleton’s comments as either hubris or temptation, but in reality they are neither and simply reflect how far ahead his team is at the moment.

England are absolute favorites to achieve global fame in the southern hemisphere and anything else would be a failure.

Middleton confirmed this. He is rightly full of confidence and demands performance from his team.

England have won their last 25 games in a row and have a strength at depth and a power game that no other nation can match at the moment.

“We have to win it. This is the best prepared squad with the best strength we have ever had,” said Middleton. “We are as operational as possible. You can’t guarantee you’ll win it because it doesn’t work that way, but we have everything we could wish for available.

“You can tell the quality of the players we have by the ones we left out.”

Middleton cited Andy Ruiz Jr’s loss to Anthony Joshua and Wimbledon’s shock 1988 FA Cup Final win over Liverpool as examples of shocks that could serve as a warning to England. But the reality is that it will take an excitement of gargantuan proportions for them not to reach the final at Eden Park in Auckland on November 12.

The headline omission in Middleton’s squad was scrum-half Natasha ‘Mo’ Hunt, but winger Abby Dow made the cut despite not having played in the Six Nations since breaking her leg against Wales. Dow isn’t quite fit yet, but her recovery to even being selected has been remarkable.

“The role of our nine is a very simple role,” Middleton said. ‘Mo plays a very different game. This is not a criticism of Mo, it fits perfectly with what we did a few years ago.”

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