PM leads England tributes

The Prime Minister and Sir Clive Woodward have led the tributes to the England Women team following their stunning Rugby Union World Cup triumph.

England finally claimed the biggest prize in women's rugby after losing to New Zealand in each of the last three World Cup finals.

They beat Canada 21-9 in Sunday's final in Paris, and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, tweeted: \"Huge congratulations to @EnglandRugby Women on their first World Cup triumph in 20 years. Your country is so proud of you.\"

Former England head coach Woodward, who guided the men to World Cup glory in 2003, tweeted: \"Massive congrats to @EnglandRugby ladies-only get one chance at this usually and you delivered - brilliant and enjoy it all.\"

Minister for Sport Helen Grant said: "Congratulations to the fantastic England women's rugby team and all their support staff on becoming world champions. They have made the nation proud.\"

"I am sure they have inspired many women and girls to get involved in the sport, and I know the RFU (Rugby Football Union) will be working hard to build on this success."

Saracens flanker Maggie Alphonsi, who brought the curtain down on her glorious international career, tweeted: \"Best feeling in the world is waking up as a World Champion after spending 11 years of my life trying to be one. Words can't explain.\"

Head coach Gary Street added: "It feels a bit like a dream. It's quite surreal, and I think I will wake up in a minute!

"It's a pretty amazing feeling, and I am just so proud of everyone involved. It's a really special group. We've been on a long journey, but to have that trophy makes it worthwhile.

"The support we've had has been amazing, and it's a huge relief to be able to deliver."

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio tweeted: \"Fantastic result for @EnglandRugby women, and well-deserved after all the hard work! What an inspirational team!!!"

His former back-row colleague Richard Hill tweeted: "Congratulations ladies @EnglandRugby. A proud day. I'm sure Tuesday training sessions feel worth it now!!!"

Iain Balshaw, another member of the 2003 World Cup-winning squad, tweeted: "Huge congrats to the women's @EnglandRugby team. Cracking game of rugby!"

Current England full-back Mike Brown added: "Congrats @EnglandRugby women!! World Cup winners, brilliant!\"

His Harlequins and England team-mate Danny Care tweeted: "Massive congratulations to the @EnglandRugby women! World champions!! Enjoy the celebrations!!"

And Lions and England flanker Tom Croft added: "Congratulations @EnglandRugby women on winning the #WRWC2014, legends!!! Have a great night!!!!"