With four matches on Saturday and one on Sunday, another busy weekend of women's international rugby is in prospect.
A new all-time high in the World Rugby Women's Rankings is within reach for Fiji if they can upset the odds and beat Samoa in Saturday's Oceania Rugby Women's Championship title decider, while the other game sees Papua New Guinea up against Tonga.
Meanwhile, in Europe, England host Six Nations rivals Ireland at Twickenham, while Wales complete their November programme in Cardiff with a visit from the higher-ranked Canada.
Italy and South Africa round up the action with their first ever meeting 24 hours later in Prato.
OCEANIA RUGBY WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Fiji (30) v Samoa (12)
Fijiana have made two changes of personnel and two positional to the line-up that accounted for Papua New Guinea 96-0 in round two on Tuesday. While the pack remains the same, there is a change at half-back where Rusila Tamoi comes in at scrum-half with Ana Maria Roqica moving to the right wing. Captain Rusila Nagasau switches from inside to outside centre to allow fellow sevens player Merewai Cumu to come into the midfield.
Both changes to the Manusina starting line-up come in the front row where Inga Timani and Mary-Lee Sa'u come in at loose-head and tight-head prop. There are also a couple of adjustments to the make-up of the bench with Jen Simati and Sieni Tui providing cover at loose forward and in the midfield backs respectively.
- Samoa won the only previous meeting 27-15, in April 2006
- Fijiana have won all three of their matches at Churchill Park in Lautoka since then
- Samoa are averaging 52 points per game in their last three fixtures
Samoa will fall below South Africa if they lose or draw to Fiji – even if South Africa also lose or draw against Italy. Fiji will climb six places to 24th – their highest ever – with any margin of victory. Fiji will climb three in event of a draw and two in defeat as they gained points for their victory over PNG earlier in the week.
Papua New Guinea (42) v Tonga (40)
Tonga have made seven changes of personnel and one positional switch, with Judith Pita moving from outside centre to the right wing, for their fifth test outing. Hooker Lesley Mapa, second-row Evamere Fatafehi and number eight Meleane Fifita are the new additions to the pack, while the remainder of the changes are in the backs. Lu'isa Pita comes in at scrum-half, while a new-look midfield comprises Pesalini He'ehau and Vainga Moimoi, who wears the captain's armband. 'Ilaisaane Fanguna is on the opposite wing to Pita with 'Ema Lu'isa Potaufa and Leilani Lita Fuikefu retaining their places at fly-half and full-back respectively.
Joanna Lagona, a deadly finisher on the sevens circuit, comes into the side at full-back in a Palais' side showing five changes of personnel and also featuring two positional switches. Lagona, who last played test match 15s against Fiji two years ago, is one of two changes to the backs with Jillianne Yallon given the fly-half duties ahead of Kymlie Rapilla. Upfront, Mary Lavari replaces Norah Wartovo in the second-row and Geua Larry and Rusila Oki pack down at six and eight respectively. Bibiana Paloa moves from the blindside to the openside.
- This is the first meeting between the teams
- Both sides are vying for their first test win
Papua New Guinea will become the higher ranked of the teams with a win, climbing four places to 38th or five places to 37th if the margin is more than 15 points. Tonga will fall four to 44th in defeat and one in the event of a draw. Tonga will climb two places if they win with PNG falling two places on the back of two defeats in a week, having lost to Fiji on Tuesday.
England (2) v Ireland (10)
England coach Simon Middleton makes six changes to the Red Roses starting XV, with Vicky Fleetwood returning to flanker and Lydia Thompson to the right wing, having both been rested last week against Canada. The combination of Tatyana Heard and Carys Williams start at inside and outside centre respectively having both made their debuts against the USA, while Heather Kerr earns her first start of the series at hooker and Zoe Aldcroft also starts in the second row having been on the bench last weekend. Lark Davies, who scored two tries against Canada, Catherine O’Donnell, Marlie Packer and Rachael Burford all move to the bench with Sarah Hunter again captaining the side.
Ireland coach Adam Griggs has made six changes to the side that started Sunday’s 19-10 loss to the USA, with five of the changes coming in the forwards. Emma Hooban and Leah Lyons start at hooker and tight-head, while loose-head Lindsay Peat comes in for her 24th cap. Nichola Fryday replaces Ciara Cooney, who picked up a shoulder injury against the Women's Eagles, and she packs down alongside Aoife McDermott in the second-row. There are two changes are in the back-row, where Jeamie Deacon and the uncapped Juliet Short come into the side alongside Claire Molloy. Nicole Cronin, at scrum-half, is the only change to the backline.
- England are on a five-game winning run against Ireland
- England won 33-11 when the sides met in the Six Nations earlier this year
- Ireland's last win in the fixture was 11-8 at Ashbourne in February 2015
- Ireland have never beaten England on English soil in 12 previous attempts
Ireland will climb three places to seventh if they beat England and Wales draw or lose to Canada, while a draw would result in them moving above Spain. Only an England loss by more than 15 points would cost them second place.
Wales (8) v Canada (4)
The match will be streamed live at www.s4c.cymru/clic/Live/live-rugby
Wales coach Rowland Phillips has made five changes to his starting line-up for their final test of November. The front row of Caryl Thomas, Carys Phillips and Amy Evans return, along with Siwan Lillicrap who partners Mel Clay in the second row. The only change in the backline from the team that beat Hong Kong 65-0 last Friday sees Kiera Bevan return at scrum-half.
Canada have yet to announce their team.
- In the head-to-head, Canada have won six matches to Wales' two and there have been two draws
- Wales failed to score a try in the last three meetings and were kept pointless in the last two
- Wales are bidding to string together three wins in a row for the first time since 2009
Wales will climb above Italy into seventh if they beat Canada by more than 15 points even if the Azzurre also win. With only a gain of one-hundredth of a point available for victory, it is not possible for Canada to climb any higher than their current position. Wales will fall one place if they lose and Ireland and Italy both win.
Italy (7) v South Africa (13)
The match will be streamed live on the FIR YouTube channel
Italy stick with experience in naming a side boasting an impressive 466 caps and showing just one change from the one that beat Scotland last week. Valeria Fedrighi comes into the second-row in the place of Valentin Ruzza. The bench, however, boasts just 19 caps between them.
South Africa will be bolstered by the presence of experienced captain Nolusindiso Booi when they take to the field in their final tour match against Italy after she recovered from a knee injury. The return of Booi to the starting line-up is one of three personnel changes to coach Stanley Raubenheimer’s team, with the others being the inclusion of Booi’s original second-row partner Bernice Strydom, who is promoted from the bench after recovering from a knee niggle, and Katlego Moremi coming in at tight-head prop. Moremi replaces Thantaswa Macingwane in the front row, with the latter being named among the replacements. As a result of this change, Babalwa Latsha moves to loose-head prop. The other positional switch sees Sinazo Mcatshulwa move from the second row to flanker.
- Italy have won their last three matches – Scotland twice and Wales – their best run since the 2015 Six Nations
- Last week's 38-0 win over Scotland was the third time they have nilled the Scots this decade
- South Africa have been competitive on their return to international rugby, losing 17-5 and 19-5 on consecutive weekends against Spain and Wales
- This is the first meeting between the teams
Italy will fall one place to eighth even in victory if Wales also win by more than 15 points and will drop as many as three in defeat. South Africa will climb two places if they beat Italy but cannot overtake the Azzure in the rankings.
The World Rugby Women's Rankings update every Monday at 12:00 GMT.
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