Rowlands rings in two changes for final

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>     17 Sep 2006    

Shannon Willoughby of Otago will be replaced at the back of the scrum by Aucklander Linda Itunu, while Canterbury's Stephanie Mortimer has been picked at wing ahead of Victoria Blackledge.

The defending champions will head into the final as strong favourites after dispatching England 19-9 for the 2002 title.

However, despite their sound history against England, Rowlands says the Black Ferns will not be complacent.

"I don't think there's any danger of complacency coming into our game," he said.

"We have worked hard to get to this point and we are determined to play well in the final."

Rowlands also believes England will play its traditional forward-dominated game in the final.

"We've had a good look at them at this tournament. Canada pushed them in their semifinal (final score 20-14) but England didn't play their strongest side," he said.

"We know that we are in for a battle up front but I believe we have the firepower to match them."

The final kicks off at 11.00am (NZ time) and will be televised live on TV3.

Black Ferns team for final match against England: 1. Diane Maliukaetau (Auckland), 2. Farah Palmer (Manawatu, captain), 3. Casey Robertson (Canterbury), 4. Monalisa Codling (Auckland), 5. Victoria Heighway (Auckland), 6. Melissa Ruscoe (Canterbury), 7. Rochelle Martin (Auckland), 8. Linda Itunu (Auckland), 9. Emma Jensen (Auckland), 10. Anna Richards (Auckland), 11. Stephanie Mortimer (Canterbury), 12. Exia Edwards (Bay of Plenty), 13. Huriana Manuel (Auckland), 14. Claire Richardson (Otago), 15. Amiria Marsh (Canterbury).

Reserves: 16. Fiao'o Fa'amausili (Auckland), 17. Helen Va'aga (Auckland), 18. Kimberley Smith (Canterbury), 19. Shannon Willoughby (Otago), 20. Waimania Teddy (Auckland), 21. Rebecca Hull (Hawke's Bay) and 22. Hannah Myers (Auckland).