FULL-BACK Danielle Waterman believes England can win the World Cup in Paris on the third time of asking.
The England and Bristol star is determined to go one better next month after experiencing the bitter taste of defeat in the two previous World Cups.
England lost 25-17 to New Zealand in Canada in 2006 and 13-10 on home soil in 2010 to finish runners-up on both occasions.
And the 29-year-old believes this current crop of talent has the potential to clinch the Cup.
Gloucester resident Waterman said: “We definitely want to win.
“We have been training hard, we’ve had nine weeks together as a team and we are in a fantastic place in terms of our strength and conditioning.
“Technically and tactically we have been challenged on a daily basis.
“Five of us have played in two previous world cups and we have a number of debutants who are new to the team.
“But I think that balance is key and hopefully should be a winning formula.
“Although we still have a couple of weeks of fine tuning we all feel we are in a really good place and it’s time to go one better.”
Head coach Gary Street revealed that the 26-strong squad was the strongest he had selected since taking the helm in 2007.
Drybrook fly-half Ceri Large was also named.
Waterman, who ran a women’s rugby academy at Hartpury College, emphasised how competitive the selection cut was.
She continued: “I was absolutely ecstatic to be selected. It was so surreal to see my name on the list.
“I’m disappointed for the girls who haven’t made the cut but it shows where England women are at the moment.
“It shows the challenges that the coaches are faced with to select the squad that they have. The wider squad has made us the strongest squad we could have been.
“Without the challenge, athletes can get complacent when people aren’t challenging for positions the whole time.”
Defending champions New Zealand pose one of the biggest threats to England’s campaign for World Cup glory.
But France will also prove dangerous on home soil, after winning the Six Nations this year and beating England into second spot.
Waterman counts the number of rivals England must keep an eye on as a sure sign that the game is continuing to grow.
She added: “France, as a home team are going to have the advantage of a very patriotic French crowd.
“But you also have to look at the likes of Canada who have a full-time sevens programme and are really pushing women’s rugby, and have been successful over the last few years.
“Australia too, and Ireland who won the Six Nations two years ago.
“It’s really exciting to be a part of this because it shows how far women’s rugby has come and it’s not just about the frontrunners now.
“It should make for a really good tournament.”
England open their World Cup campaign on August 1 against Samoa before taking on Spain on August 5 and Canada on August 9.
All pool games will be played at Marcoussis in Paris while the semi-final and final will be staged at Stade Jean Bouin on August 13 and 17 respectively.