Following England’s victory over Canada in the Rugby World Cup final yesterday, here is our team of the tournament – let us know what you think.
1. Fiona Coughlan (Ireland)
Never has a player earned their retirement in quite such spectacular fashion. Captain of the first Ireland side ever to reach the knockout stages of a World Cup, and the side that conquered New Zealand. Superb.
2. Kim Donaldson (Canada)
Part of a Canada front row that was so impressive in consecutive games against England and France. Set-piece was solid, too.
3. Rochelle Clark (England)
Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Clark is England’s most experienced player, and it showed when it mattered most. In the semi-final against Ireland her work rate was unstoppable, and, for the most part, England’s scrum was solid and allowed their dangerous backs a platform from which to play.
4. Assa Koita (France)
Part of a ferocious France pack, one that beat all comers – apart from Canada. Still, it was the power play from the forwards that took them so far, and Koita was a key part of that.
5. Mary Louise Reilly (Ireland)
The tallest player at the tournament a key component in the Irish lineout, which performed so admirably. An important member of a team that made history.
6. Kelly Russell (Canada)
Has played at number eight all tournament, but N’Diaye has been brilliant there too. Russell played like a six at times, tracking the ball wherever it went and always seemingly being the first player in support. One of the best players at the tournament.
7. Maggie Alphonsi (England)
Alphonsi made 29 tackles against Canada in the group stages, an astronomical figure. She has an insatiably high work rate, and actually a large proportion of her tackles are big hits, too. A key figure in England’s success.
8. Safi N’Diaye (France)
A bullocking, abrasive number eight who loves to carry the ball. Allied to her strength, she has impeccable ball-carrying technique, which makes her incredibly difficult to tackle.
9. Natasha Hunt (England)
Bizarrely dropped for the semi-final, Hunt was one of England’s most impressive players in the group stages. Snappy service and a decent box kick. Not much more you can ask from your scrum-half.
10. Katy Mclean (England)
A quiet tournament until the semi-final, against Ireland Mclean put in an absolute masterclass. She had the ball on a string, pinning Ireland back with well-weighted kicks and precision passing.
11. Shakira Baker (New Zealand)
They may not have made the semi-finals, but the Ireland game aside New Zealand have been imperious. A hattrick for Baker against Wales showed how dangerous she is.
12. Emily Scarratt (England)
Has been playing mostly at 13, but really it wouldn’t have mattered what number she had on her back. Strong, elegant running, brilliant hands and a howitzer boot. A superb tournament.
13. Mandy Marchack (Canada)
One of Canada’s sevens specialists, Marchack always looked dangerous when she got the ball. With an aggressive turn of pace, she was always a threat on that outside arc.
14. Magali Harvey (Canada)
Probably the star of the tournament. A hattrick in Canada’s opening game, and a length of the field try, followed up by a nerveless conversion, to defy hosts France in the semi-final. Mesmeric stuff.
15. Niamh Briggs (Ireland)
The hero of that famous win over New Zealand. Lives and breathes her country, she never gave anything less than 100%. Another of the brilliant kickers on show at this tournament.
By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43