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What are the teams for the quarter-final matches of the 2021 Rugby World Cup?

England Sarah Bern

The pool stages are over and now it is time for the cream of the crop to collide at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

France, Italy, Wales and England will represent the TikTok Women’s Six Nations sides in the quarter-finals, but all four teams will have to be at their very best if they want to reach the next round.

So, here are all the team line-ups for the quarter-final matches at the Rugby World Cup 2021.


England against Australia will headline a blockbuster line-up of quarter-final clashes.

Tournament favourites England will battle their old foes with a place in the semi-finals on the line after finishing top of Pool C, while the Wallaroos finished second in Pool A.

Red Roses captain Sarah Hunter will become the most-capped England international when she makes her 138th appearance in Sunday’s game.

England have made two changes to their back line with Tatyana Heard starting at inside centre, Helena Rowland shifting to full-back and Ellie Kildunne dropping to the bench.

The other change sees Abby Dow start on the wing, with Claudia MacDonald dropping out of the matchday squad with a calf strain.

Starting XV: 15 Helena Rowland; 14 Lydia Thompson, 13 Emily Scarratt, 12 Tatyana Heard, 11 Abby Dow; 10 Zoe Harrison, 9 Leanne Infante; 1 Vickii Cornborough, 2 Amy Cokayne, 3 Sarah Bern, 4 Zoe Aldcroft, 5 Abbie Ward, 6 Alex Matthews, 7 Marlie Packer, 8 Sarah Hunter (captain).

Replacements: 16 Lark Davies, 17 Hannah Botterman, 18 Maud Muir, 19 Rosie Galligan, 20 Poppy Cleall, 21 Lucy Packer, 22 Holly Aitchison, 23 Ellie Kildunne.


Wales will have to eliminate tournament hosts New Zealand if they want to reach the semi-finals.

Ioan Cunningham’s side reached the last eight by finishing as one of the two best third-place teams in Pool A.

The Black Ferns have already beaten them 56-12 in the second round of group games, but a win against Scotland saw Wales progress out of the pool stages.

In contrast, New Zealand won all three of their games, staying on track to retain their title on home soil.

Keira Bevan and Lowri Norkett have been handed their first starts of the tournament at scrum-half and the right wing respectively, while in the pack, Donna Rose and Carys Phillips return.

Hannah Jones retains the captaincy, while Lleucu George and Gwenllian Pyrs are set to make their first appearances of the competition from the bench.

Starting XV: 15 Jasmine Joyce, 14 Lowri Norkett, 13 Carys Williams-Morris, 12 Hannah Jones (capt), 11 Lisa Neumann, 10 Elinor Snowsill, 9 Keira Bevan; 1 Cara Hope, 2 Carys Phillips, 3 Donna Rose, 4 Natalia John, 5 Gwen Crabb, 6 Bethan Lewis, 7 Alex Callender, 8 Sioned Harries

Replacements: 16 Kelsey Jones, 17 Gwenllian Pyrs, 18 Sisilia Tuipulotu, 19 Georgia Evans, 20 Siwan Lillicrap, 21 Ffion Lewis, 22 Lleucu George, 23 Megan Webb


France proved they are more than capable of winning the tournament in their 13-7 defeat against England.

The loss meant they finished second in Pool C, but Thomas Darracq’s side came as close as anyone has to beating Simon Middleton’s Red Roses during their 28-game unbeaten run.

France also beat Fiji 44-0 and South Africa 40-5 in their impressive run to the quarter-finals.

Darracq has made eight changes to his side, with Agathe Sochat now set to win her 40th cap.

Annaëlle Deshaye and Clara Joyeux also come into the front row, while elsewhere in the pack, Madoussou Fall, Marjorie Mayans and Charlotte Escudero return to the side.

In the backs, Gabrielle Vernier starts at inside centre and Joanna Grisez will return on the wing. Back-rower Romane Menager is still not fit to play after suffering a concussion against England.

Starting XV: 15 Emilie Boulard; 14 Joanna Grisez, 13 Maëlle Filopon, 12 Gabrielle Vernier, 11 Marine Ménager; 10 Caroline Drouin, 9 Pauline Bourdon; 1 Annaëlle Deshaye, 2 Agathe Sochat, 3 Clara Joyeux, 4 Céline Ferer, 5 Madoussou Fall, 6 Gaëlle Hermet (captain), 7 Marjorie Mayans, 8 Charlotte Escudero.

Replacements: 16 Laure Touye, 17 Coco Lindelauf, 18 Assia Khalfaoui, 19 Safi N’Diaye, 20 Emeline Gros, 21 Alexandra Chambon, 22 Lina Queyroi, 23 Chloé Jacquet.


Italy will be France’s opponents on Saturday, after they reached the quarter-final stage for the first time.

They finished second in Pool B behind Canada, beating the United States 22-10 in their tournament opener before bouncing back from defeat against Canada with a 21-8 victory against Japan.

Andrea Di Giandomenico has made four changes to his starting team for the clash in Whangarei on Saturday.

Lucia Gai returns at tighthead, Valeria Fedrighi comes into the second row after Sara Tounesi’s ban and Isabella Locatelli starts in the back row in place of Giada Franco, who is going through the HIA return-to-play protocols.

Sofia Stefan will start at scrum-half in the one change to Italy’s back line. Wing Maria Magatti will win her 50th cap while captain Elisa Giordano is in line to make her 60th Test appearance.

Starting XV: 15 Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi; 14 Auro Muzzo, 13 Michela Sillari, 12 Beatrice Rigoni, 11 Maria Magatti; 10 Veronica Madia, 9 Sofia Stefan; 1 Silvia Turani, 2 Melissa Bettoni, 3 Lucia Gai, 4 Valeria Fedrighi, 5 Giordana Duca, 6 Francesca Sgorbini, 7 Isabella Locatelli, 8 Elisa Giordano (captain).

Replacements: 16 Vittoria Vecchini, 17 Gaia Maris, 18 Sara Seye, 19 Michela Merlo, 20 Beatrice Veronese, 21 Sara Barattin, 22 Alyssa D’Inca, 23 Manuela Furlan.