New Zealand are Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 champions.
A thrilling final saw the Black Ferns beat England 41-32 in an eleven-try thriller in Belfast on Saturday evening.
Earlier in the day, France beat USA 31-23 to claim the bronze medal at the Kingspan Stadium in front of a packed house.
Speaking afterwards, New Zealand’s captain Fiao’o Faamausili said: “I’m so proud of the girls, we dug deep, full credit to England, they really gave it to us, but I couldn’t be prouder of the character of our team. We told them they’d have to go into deep, dark places and fight… and that’s what they did.”
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont hailed a tournament that he believes will be a game-changer for the sport: “A magnificent final showcased the very best of rugby to the world and was one of the great Rugby World Cup finals – women or men – and it will be remembered as a game-changer for the sport.
“Congratulations to New Zealand, who are deserving champions, but tonight and throughout this tournament, rugby has been the true winner.”
The final placings also saw USA, Canada, Australia and Wales join New Zealand, England and France in the top seven, meaning they qualify for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021.
Report courtesy of World Rugby