ENGLAND ended a run of three successive final defeats to win the Women's Rugby World Cup with a hard-fought 21-9 victory over Canada in Paris – and they were aided by no fewer than six Gloucestershire stars.

Danielle Waterman, who lives in Gloucester, Drybrook's Natasha Hunt, former University of Gloucestershire student Sophie Hemming and one-time Prince Henry's High School pupil Kat Merchant all made the starting line-up. On the replacements bench were Drybrook fly-half Ceri Large and former Hartpury College student Alex Matthews.

England led by five points inside the final 10 minutes but Emily Scarratt barged through and raced into the corner to secure victory.

Scarratt scored another 11 points with the boot while Waterman rounded off a first-half team try.

England's only previous success in the tournament came back in 1994.

In the 20 years since, England have lost the 2002, 2006 and 2010 finals New Zealand, but their experience and quality finally told against a Canadian side who were contesting their first final.

England's side – many of whom took unpaid leave from their regular jobs to play in the tournament – lifted the trophy in front of a crowd close to the 22,000 capacity of the Stade Jean-Bouin.