England ended a run of three successive final defeats to finally land the Women’s Rugby World Cup with a hard-fought 21-9 win over Canada in Paris.
The Red Roses led by five points inside the final 10 minutes but Emily Scarratt barged though and raced into the corner to make sure of victory.
Scarratt scored another 11 points with the boot while Danielle Waterman rounded off a first-half team try.
England’s only previous success in the tournament came back in 1994.
In the 20 years since, England have lost the 2002, 2006 and 2010 finalsto New Zealand, but their experience and quality finally told against a Canadian side contesting their first.
“We’ve worked so hard for this, and there are so many great legends that have gone before us that haven’t won in an England shirt, and that’s for all of them who are here today,” captain Katy Mclean told Sky Sports.
“It started years ago with the people that have brought us here, our family and friends. We’ve had to work today – Canada were fantastic – and it’s amazing to think we’ve done it.”
The victory may well mark the end of the international career of England stalwart Maggie Alphonsi who was one of four players in the starting line-up who played in the last two final defeats.