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  • Last Modified: 27 March 2017 09:09

Red Roses hoping for World Cup glory in Ireland!

England will head back across the Irish Sea for Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 in August in buoyant mood after comprehensively defeating hosts Ireland 34-7 at a wet and windy Donnybrook in Dublin.

Both sides went into the game with four wins under their belt, but it was England who captured the Grand Slam and the title thanks to tries from Amy Wilson-Hardy, Laura Keates, Amy Cokayne, Emily Scarratt and Lydia Thompson, with Scarratt adding nine points from the kicking tee.

"The difference between winning and not winning this match would have been huge. To win the Six Nations was a major target for us and we've done it with a Grand Slam,” said England coach Simon Middleton.

"It gives us a springboard and it keeps our winning mentality going. It also gives us confidence that what we’re doing is right. We know we can get better, fitter and stronger. That will be our next focus, but for now, I’m absolutely thrilled.”

After a tight first half in which both sides struggled to come to terms with the difficult conditions, they were only separated by five points following Wilson-Hardy's score out wide after a beautifully weighted miss pass from Scarratt.

But England produced a superb second-half performance to add the Six Nations title to the world crown they won in France in 2014. 

They doubled their lead 14 minutes into the second half when prop Keates marked her 60th international appearance with a try. Scaratt then kicked a three-pointer after Mairead Coyne's yellow card for a deliberate knock-on and, three minutes later, the Red Roses capitalised further when Cokayne received an offload from Scarratt and raced away to score.

Ireland grabbed a late consolation through hooker Leah Lyons, but Thompson ensured England underlined the win and their superiority with a fifth try to get their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2012.