A scorching try from centre Emily Scarratt helped England lift their first women's rugby World Cup title since 1994 in a 21-9 final victory over Canada.

England, beaten in the last three finals, had drawn 13-13 with the Canadians in the group stage - a result that helped push out holders and favourites New Zealand - but were more clinical this time around.

This group of girls and this group of staff deserve everything that we have got because we have worked so hard for this

Katy Mclean, England captain

In front of a near-capacity crowd at the Stade Jean Bouin in west Paris, England led 11-3 at the break through two Scarratt penalties and a try from full-back Danielle Waterman.

Magali Harvey kicked two more penalties to keep Canada, making their first appearance in a World Cup final, in contention, but Scarratt broke a tackle in front of the posts in the final minutes and cut behind Canada's defence to seal victory.

The Canadians, a young team dominated by seven-a-side specialists, ran everything they could, taking risks with poor quality ball in a bid to bring their flying wingers into play and break the rhythm of a better organised and more experienced England side.

"All credit to Canada, they were fantastic today, but this group of girls and this group of staff deserve everything that we have got because we have worked so hard for this," England captain Katy Mclean told the official rugby World Cup website (www.rwcwomens.com).

"So many great legends that have gone before us haven't won in an England shirt and that was for all them that were here today and for all of the England rugby family."

Earlier on Sunday hosts France beat Ireland 25-18 in the third place playoff.

Source: Reuters