New Zealand v England: Women’s Rugby World Cup final – live | Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021

Key events

8 min: The full-back Holmes misses the kick! Wow, the nerves showing slightly.

7 min: Bern gives away the penalty at the breakdown and New Zealand point to the sticks, they know how important points are.

6 min: It’s a poor restart from England and New Zealand have it. They exchange kicks and the Black Ferns have their first line-out. It’s loose from Ponsonby but the hosts have it and they are looking to strike back quickly.

TRY! New Zealand 0-7 England (Kildunne, 3′)

Dow escapes down the wing and she passes to Thompson who does well to keep it alive. England have the advantage and they run it wide with Kildunne crashing over! Scarratt slots a great kick for the extras.

2 min: The kick-off is won by Thompson and Harrison gets the first kick in. New Zealand decide to run it but England turn it over through M Packer. Harrison puts in another kick but Holmes does well under pressure to not give back possession. The hosts are playing it from deep here but Demant kicks and England have their first line-out, it’s clean and England attack.

Kick-off! New Zealand 0-0 England

Five weeks, 25 matches and just one game to play. Over the next 80 minutes we will find out the winners of the 2021 tournament, here we go!

I am crying just seeing the crowd, what an occasion! As cheesy as it sounds, no matter who takes the trophy, women’s rugby is the definite winner.

The players are out and the anthems will be in full flow, followed by the haka! It all comes down to this! The nerves are so real, I have no idea how the players are feeling.

England head coach Simon Middleton told ITV: “Exciting. I think everybody is excited. We hope it’s a great game. We’re focusing on the job at hand.”

And he added on L Packer late change: “We sort of knew all week, Leanne ahs been struggling. She is tough but you can’t send someone in at 70%. We teed it up all week. We anticipated it might happen.”

England are favourites for this one but it will be such a tough Test to down New Zealand in their own back yard. So much suspense, 15 minutes to go …

Catch up with our previews for Saturday’s huge game at Eden Park.

The opening montage has made me cry, this morning will be emotional …

Here are some stats for you to get you warmed up for this one! England have scored 239 points so far in the tournament and only conceded 50. The Black Ferns, meanwhile, have scored 234 points and conceded 56.

Eden Park is set to be sold-out for this final with 40,000 fans expected to be there. If that many supporters turn out, which looks likely with it filling up ahead of kick-off, it will smash the attendance record for the women’s rugby union match. An astounding achievement and it shows what impact this tournament has had.

World Rugby have confirmed that if England can beat New Zealand in today’s final that they will be awarded the highest ever rating given to an international rugby team in the world rankings!

I am nervous, excited, emotional – you name it I’m feeling it! How are you feeling ahead of the final? Let me know via Twitter, @rendellx, or email.

Third and fourth place was decided earlier today with France demolishing Canada 36-0. The scoreline was not reflective of the fight Canada displayed, it would be great to see them a professional team before the next World Cup.

France's players celebrate after beating Canada.
France’s players celebrate after beating Canada. Photograph: Michael Bradley/AFP/Getty Images

All eyes will be on England’s Lucy Packer in this final, a match she was not even down to be on the bench for until today! Leanne Infante is injured and Packer will start with Claudia MacDonald on the bench as cover. A lot of people have said Simon Middleton made a mistake not bringing Mo Hunt to New Zealand just in case this exact situation happened – a huge occasion for the 22-year-old.

The team news is here! New Zealand make one change from their semi-final. Charmaine McMenamin comes in at No. 8 for the injured Liana Mikaele-Tu’u.

New Zealand starting XV: Renee Holmes; Ruby Tui, Stacey Fluhler, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Portia Woodman; Ruahei Demant (captain), Kendra Cocksedge; Phillipa Love, Georgia Ponsonby, Amy Rule, Maiakawanakaukani Roos, Chelsea Bremner, Alana Bremner, Sarah Hirini, Charmaine McMenamin.

Replacements: Luka Connor, Krystal Murray, Santo Taumata, Joanah Ngan-Woo, Kennedy Simon, Ariana Bayler, Hazel Tubic, Ayesha Leti-I’iga.

Ruby Tui
Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

England, meanwhile, have made four changes to their starting side. Ellie Kildunne comes in at full-back with Lydia Thompson back on the wing and Holly Aitchison at 12. a late change to the side sees Leanne Infante out injured with Lucy Packer starting – a huge test for the young scrum-half.

England starting XV: Ellie Kildunne; Lydia Thompson, Emily Scarratt, Holly Aitchison, Abby Dow; Zoe Harrison, Lucy Packer; Vickii Cornborough, Amy Cokayne, Sarah Bern, Zoe Aldcroft, Abbie Ward, Alex Matthews, Marlie Packer, Sarah Hunter (captain).

Replacements: Lark Davies, Maud Muir, Shaunagh Brown, Cath O’Donnell, Poppy Cleall, Sadia Kabeya, Claudia MacDonald, Tatyana Heard.

Ellie Kildunne
Photograph: Fiona Goodall/RFU/The RFU Collection/Getty Images

Good morning and welcome to the Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and England. It’s is finally here after five weeks of exciting competition and we have the final fixture many fans predicted before the tournament began.

Hosts New Zealand have never lost a World Cup final they have been in but favourites England will be looking to spoil their record and add to their own this morning. If they claim the trophy it will be their 31st win on the bounce.

But they face tough competition in the Black Ferns, who have been formidable this tournament! And if the two thrilling semi-finals are anything to go by we are in for a treat! The team news has been announced so stay tuned for updates ahead of kick-off at 6.30am!

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