England beat Papua New Guinea 36-8 in their opening game
Women’s Rugby League World Cup on the BBC
Venues: Australia
Dates: 16 November to 2 December
Coverage: Selected previews and reports on the BBC website.

England’s Women’s Rugby League World Cup ambitions will be given their toughest test so far against holders Australia in Sydney on Sunday.

The Lionesses have made two changes from the win against Papua New Guinea, Faye Gaskin comes in for Jenny Welsby while Sarah Dunn replaces Danika Prim.

Australia, who beat Cook Islands 58-4 in their opener, make six changes.

Ruan Sims and Australia’s women’s player of the year Kezie Apps are among the players to come in.

New Zealand, who demolished Canada in their opening game, face the Cook Islands, while Papua New Guinea Orchids and Canada complete the line-up with both looking for their first win.

The tournament comprises six teams across two groups of three, with the top two in each qualifying for the semi-finals.

The final will take place in Brisbane on 2 December as part of a double-header with the men’s final.

Lionesses hope to find their roar

Kezie Apps won Australia’s women’s player of the year award for her international and state representative form

Even as the best representative the northern hemisphere can muster, England are up against it against the Australians who have made huge strides in developing women’s rugby league.

Several players such as Sims, the sister of male professionals Ashton, Korbin and Tariq Sims, are on contracts with the women’s arm of NRL clubs which allow them to train as semi-professionals, rather than part-time like their England counterparts.

England have lost against the Jillaroos in each of the past two World Cup group stages.

England: Cunningham; Stanley, Hardcastle, Courtman, Booth; Gaskin, Moroney; Slowe, Forsell, Dobson (c), Hoyle, Rudge, Sutcliffe

Replacements: Bound, Crowl, Hepworth, Dunn

Reserve bench: Garner, Bulman

Australia: Davis-Welsh; Ward, McGregor, Kelly, Baker; Brigginshaw, Moran; Sims, Breayley, Ballinger, Quinn, Apps, Kunst

Replacements: O’Mealey, Hancock, Walton, Brander

Reserve bench: Foliaki, Young

You can watch all of England Lionesses’ Women’s Rugby League World Cup matches on the RFL’s Ourleague website