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England focus on development after sweep

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Sportal.co.nz     21 Jul 2013     Getty Images

Speaking to reporters after being soundly beaten 8-29 in the third and final Test, Street said the tour was an opportunity for some of his younger players to step up and deliver against the world champions ahead of the 2014 Women's World Cup in France.

"It gives us a real sort of grounding where we are what we need to do next August," said Street, whose side finished the series without a win.

"We want to improve constantly. [The tour] was just a good marker of where we are and a great measure of what we can do in our preparation"

The visitors' tour had been hampered by short preparations, with the team only assembling as a group in early July.

By July 20, the Red Roses had played three Tests and had a lack of time to gel together without the likes of key flankers Maggie Alphonsi and Heather Fisher.

Despite the lack of preparation, Street said a number of players had stood up throughout the three Tests, including outstanding No.7 Marlie Packer.

"Amber Reed again tonight playd that position in 13 when she's a 12 back at home. She's just finished university and I thought she did a great job tonight. We've found that with some of our forwards – Alex Matthews, Emily Braund.

"[I] wasn't obsessed with playing the best that we've got. We want to go back to our camp and know who can step up at this level."

Stepping up was the general theme of the final Test and it wasn't something England failed to do as a whole.

Captain Sarah Hunter reminded the side at half-time of individual accountability as poor handling, breakdown turnovers and other errors allowed New Zealand to capitalise.

"Actions speak louder than words and unfortunately throughout this Test series those little points in the game where we haven't done right was where we let New Zealand in and they capitalised, that's their strength," said Hunter.

A number of the team travel to the American city of Denver for the Nations Cup, a four-team tournament that also includes Canada, South Africa and hosts the United States.

Street said he will be using the tournament to develop players further ahead of the World Cup, which takes place next August in France.