England narrowly loose to New Zealand in the Women’s Rugby World Cup, held in Auckland, New Zealand. Sport Editor, Jasmine Trapnell, details the final and highlights the Loughborough Lightning players who were chosen to represent their nation.  

New Zealand’s Black Ferns successfully defended their title once again, beating our Red Roses 34-31, in front of a record-breaking crowd of more than 42,000 spectators. Loughborough Lightning had 6 players representing England in the World Cup Final: Cath O’Donnell, Emily Scarratt (VC), Morwenna Talling, Sadia Kabeya, Helena Rowland, and England Captain Sarah Hunter.  

Lydia Thompson was sent off in the 18th minute after a head-on collision with New Zealand’s Portia Woodman, leaving the Roses to play most of the final with just 14 players.  

The moment Lydia Thompson collides with Portia Woodman

Amy Cokayne’s hat-trick gave the Roses a lead that they unfortunately just could not hold on to. With 9 minutes left Ayesha Leti-l’iga scored a game-changing try for the Ferns. But the Roses still had a chance to take back the win as they were awarded a penalty, where they opted for a lineout just 5 metres out – however this was unsuccessful and the ball landed with the Kiwis, confirming their win.  

England had gone unbeaten to get to the final beating Fiji 19-84, France 7-13, and South Africa 0-75 in the group stages. They went on to beat Australia in the quarter-final 5-41 before facing Canada in the semi-final for a closely contested win of 19-26.  

Loughborough Lightning had 16 players representing 5 different nations in the Rugby World Cup. Those selected to represent England were Cath O’Donnell, Emily Scarratt (VC), Morwenna Talling, Sadia Kabeya, Helena Rowland, and Sarah Hunter (C). A further 6 players were chose to represent Scotland: Leah Bartlett, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell Rachel Malcolm, Helen Nelson, and Megan Gaffney. Carys Williams-Morris represented Wales, Hallie Taufoon represented USA, Courtney Holtkamp and Sara Svoboda represented Canada.  

Loughborough Lightning star and England captain Sarah Hunter gives her immediate reaction after England’s defeat

England is set to host the next Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025. We look forward to seeing England perform at home. This will also be the first Women’s World Cup to host 16 teams instead of 12.

This would be the perfect time for England to take back the title.

Edited by – Jasmine Trapnell (Sport Editor)


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