ENGLAND’s women eased into the final of the Rugby World Cup with a convincing 40-17 win over Ireland in Paris.
The team, which included former University of Gloucestershire graduate Danielle Waterman and ex-Hartpury College student Alex Matthews, will now go for glory in Sunday’s final.
Alison Miller gave Ireland the lead with an early try but the Red Roses hit back to take a 18-7 lead into the half-time break.
Rochelle Clark and Kat Merchant crossed for first-half scores while Emily Scarrett booted eight points before the break.
England dominated the second period with Scarrett notching another penalty and Kay Wilson scoring a try before Marlie Packer’s brace sealed the win.
Former Drybrook fly-half Ceri Large entered the fray in time to convert Packer’s two tries and put the gloss on a dominant victory.
While England were running in five tries, their opponents in Sunday's final, Canada, were made to work much harder as they edged to an 18-16 semi-final victory over hosts France just hours later.
That win sets up a re-run of last weekend’s pool match between England and Canada which saw both sides settle for a 13-13 draw.
England Head Coach Gary Street said: “Both Canada and France are world class sides but to be honest I didn’t mind who we played in the final. Now it is all about concentrating on ourselves and getting us ready for the biggest game of our lives on Sunday.
“The good thing is that we have put on a really good performance (against Ireland) and that is going to stand us in good stead for Sunday. And we are looking forward to having another go at Canada. Last weekend we underperformed against them so this is our opportunity to put that right.”