Two teams. Forty six players. Eighty minutes. One World Cup trophy. After nearly two weeks of scintillating women’s rugby, England and New Zealand emerged as the Rugby World Cup finalists, and as the two teams ran out on a clear Belfast evening, the stage was set for perhaps the greatest final yet.
This is it – the World Cup final is tomorrow night, and the two best teams in the world will face off in what promises to be a spectacular display of rugby.
The Red Roses, the defending champions, against New Zealand, World Number 1s. Both teams dominated their pool groups, but while New Zealand had a fairly easy win against the USA in the semi-final, England had to work incredibly hard to overcome a tough French side. With those games only four days ago, fatigue is almost certain to play a role in the outcome of the final.
The Red Roses have reached the World Cup final after overcoming a strong French side 20 – 3.
On a wet evening in Belfast, the two Six Nations opponents traded early blows, but it was the French who got off to the best start, putting the Red Roses under immense pressure in their own half. However, the English defence held firm and kept France out.
When she takes to the field for the Red Roses in Ireland next month, Danielle ‘Nolli’ Waterman will be playing in her fourth Rugby World Cup. It is a testament to her enduring class, and her grit and determination after overcoming a serious knee injury a few years back, that she is still such a vital part of this England team. Continue reading
The Red Roses have named a 28-strong squad for the Rugby World Cup later this year.
Fresh from their International Series wins against Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the Red Roses’ squad is largely unchanged. It is also a vastly experienced side, with several players heading to their fourth World Cup.
The Red Roses have ended their tour in the most emphatic way, beating host country and world number one side New Zealand in Rotorua. Tries from Abbie Scott, Emily Scarratt, Lydia Thompson, Marlie Packer and Vicky Fleetwood helped England to an eight-point victory as they won 29 – 21.
England have named their side to face the Black Ferns on Saturday, coach Simon Middleton making seven changes to the team which beat Canada on Wednesday.