sport

Mclean delighted with semi win

Captain Katy Mclean insists England have laid their below-par performance in their final pool match to rest with the emphatic 40-7 victory against Ireand in their Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-final.

Two tries from Marlie Packer and touchdowns from Rochelle Clark, Katherine Merchant and Kay Wilson helped England reach their fourth successive World Cup final where Pool A rivals Canada lie in wait.

England could only manage a 13-13 draw against Canada last Saturday and Mclean says preparations must be spot on if they are to be crowned world champions on Sunday.

\"We weren't at our best in that final group game and that's our fault as players but I think the response the coach (Gary Street) got in the semis was absolutely fantastic," the England captain told Sky Sports News HQ.

\"But that means nothing now. Building towards a final there's pressure on both sides and for us we know what we can achieve now and we've kind of put those demons to bed.

\"We've got to turn up, we've got to front up, and we've got to get our physicality right. Canada are a team that play and we can't give them time and space to do that.\"

Emily Scarratt was at the heart of the action again for England on Wednesday night, scoring three penalties and a conversion, and Mclean praised the Lichfield utility back after another big performance for her country.

\"Emily Scarratt has been phenomenal throughout the tournament to be honest and it's quite surprising that she's not in the mix for the IRB Player of the Tournament.

\"Marlie has been a really good impact player but to be honest last night was a really big team performance.

\"For me as captain that's the most pleasing thing. It's exactly what we needed in a World Cup semi and the girls really turned up, fronted up and put in a very good performance.\"

Mclean, whose England captaincy has spanned almost four years, admits she would have loved to played New Zealand in Sunday's final, but warned her team-mates not to underestimate Canada following their 18-16 victory over France.

\"I would have loved to face New Zealand in a World Cup but what happens, happens,\" the skipper said. \"Canada are going to be a fantastic side for us. They put the hosts out last night and we know they will be really up for this game and we need to make sure we are on the money.\"

Mclean added: \"Testament to Ireland. To beat New Zealand and ultimately put them out is massive for them and massive for Irish rugby.\"

England play Canada in the Women's Rugby World Cup final on Sunday from 5:30pm on Sky Sports 4HD