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England make winning start to Women’s Rugby World Cup

The England Red Roses made a flying start to their Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign with a comprehensive 56-5 win over Spain.

Loughborough student Meg Jones wasted no time in making her mark on her World Cup debut, a powerful run seeing her across the line for the first try of the game after just one minute. Excellent throughout, it was her nifty footwork that saw her get the better of the opposition to touch down in just her fifth England international.

Alumna Harriet Millar-Mills was also on fine form, the number six also making her World Cup debut. Both her and Jones were so impressive that they were nominated for player of the match, which was ultimately awarded to Kay Wilson who went across the line on four occasions.

Forwards and former students Amy Cockayne and Justine Lucas also came off the bench to good effect, staking their claims for a place in the starting 15 for the sides next game against Italy on Sunday.

England captain and World Player of the Year Sarah Hunter was dominant as ever, the Loughborough University alumna expressing her delight post-game:

“We’re really happy to get a good win under our belts, get the first game done and for us that is job one done. Spain came at us and caused problems at times. We had to work out some areas and really dig in but it’s pleasing to get a run out. There is certainly a lot for us to look back at and improve on for our next game.”

“In the build up to this tournament and since being here the focus has very much been on us; we haven’t really acknowledged external pressures that others are putting on us. We are very much one job at a time and today was just about Spain and preparing as best we could to come here and execute.

“It’s tournament rugby and you have to win every game that is put in front of you, so it’s a job well done for the girls. We will now rest, recover, and look at what we need to improve on ahead of Italy.”