Rugby World Cup: Previous defeats driving Black Fern Sarah Hirini's charge before final against England

The Black Ferns aren't shying away from England's impressive record, as they embrace their underdog tag before Saturday's Rugby World Cup final.

England have lost just once - to New Zealand in 2019 - since their final defeat to New Zealand at the last tournament and are heavily favoured to win their second World Cup crown.

One of the Black Ferns' most influential players is hungry to avoid falling short a third time this year.

After disappointment at both the Commonwealth Games and Sevens World Cup, Black Ferns Sevens captain Sarah Hirini is determined not to taste defeat at a third pinnacle event this year.

Sara Hirini in action for the Black Ferns
Sara Hirini in action for the Black Ferns. Photo credit: Photosport

"Having that disappointment has just pushed me to be better in the team, and try and give everything, but actually just enjoy it," she said. "Things like this don't come around very often."

Her enjoyment is evident and has been contagious in this Black Ferns group, who have continued to grow, following their disastrous northern tour last year.

"Our ability to handle pressure on the grass... the first test against Aussie taught us that, we did it again on the weekend," assistant coach Wes Clarke said. "We've been chucking quite a bit of pressure on them at training."

That's exactly what they're in for against England on Saturday. The 'Red Roses' are the clear benchmark in rugby, winning their last 30 in a row and 41 of their last 42, with a whopping 97 percent win rate since the 2017 World Cup.

"I mean, that is just phenomenal," said Clarke. "They're potentially the best women's team of all time, potentially the best rugby team of all time."

Said Hirini: "They are the team to beat and we've definitely talked about it like that.

"We know we have to do everything right."

Catch the Rugby World Cup live on Spark Sport or free-to-air on Three, or join Newshub from 7:30pm Saturday for live updates of the Black Ferns v England final