Women’s Rugby World Cup: England 56-5 Spain

By Caroline ChapmanBBC Sport
Kay Wilson
Kay Wilson has now scored 32 tries in 47 games
England v Spain
England (24) 56
Tries: Jones, Wilson 4, Scarratt, Millar-Mills, Matthews, Cokayne, Thompson Cons: Mclean 2, Scarratt
Spain (5) 5
Try: Gasso

England winger Kay Wilson scored four tries as the defending champions thrashed Spain in their Women's Rugby World Cup opener in Dublin.

The 2014 winners ran in 10 tries in all against the world number eight side.

Megan Jones crossed in the first minute, before Wilson scored her first of the match three minutes later, completing her hat-trick on 31 minutes.

Diana Gasso got Spain off the mark, but the world number ones responded with six more tries in the second half.

Replacement Emily Scarratt crossed only two minutes after coming on, and scores from Harriet Millar-Mills, Wilson, Alex Matthews, Amy Cokayne and Lydia Thompson completed the rout.

England will now face Italy on Sunday (14:30 BST) before their final Pool B game against the United States, a three-time finalist, on Thursday, 17 August.

Kay Wilson: Try-scoring machine

Wing Wilson, who plays her club rugby for Richmond, scored a record seven tries against Scotland in the Women's Six Nations in March and her fine form continued in Dublin.

After Jones had crossed for the Red Roses in the first minute, Wilson touched down in the corner to give England a 14-0 lead.

The 25-year-old, who has 47 caps for her country, was gifted her second by a superb Katy Mclean cross-field kick and she grabbed a hat-trick and the bonus point after being freed by full-back Danielle Waterman and bumping off her opposite number before diving over.

Wilson's fourth came on 54 minutes after some intuitive build-up play from midfield duo Rachael Burford and Jones, who impressed throughout.

'It's job one done'

'Job done' for England in World Cup opener

Head coach Simon Middleton opted to field a new-look side against Spain, leaving a combined 392 caps of experience on the bench.

England looked in control throughout, and continuously exposed their opposition in attack.

However, the Red Roses will need to improve their accuracy against the more threatening teams in the competition if they are to retain their title, especially in the line-out.

Mclean, the victorious skipper in 2014, looked in fine form in open play but could only land two conversions, while Scarratt managed only one when she took over kicking duties.

And it was an England handling error that led to Gasso going over after a fantastic attacking break from fly-half Patricia Garcia.

Captain Sarah Hunter told ITV: "We're happy to get a win under our belts.

"It's job one done. There's plenty for us to improve for our next game."

England: Waterman; Thompson, Jones, Burford, Wilson; Mclean, Riley; Cornborough, Kerr, Bern, Scott, Aldcroft, Millar-Mills, Noel-Smith, Hunter (c).

Replacements: Cokayne, Clark, Lucas, Cleall, Matthews, Mason, Reed, Scarratt.

Spain: Pla, Casado, Erbina, Bravo, Echebarria, Garcia, Fernandez, Jaurena, Gonzalez (c), Vinueza, Garcia, Ribera, Gasso, Medin, Redondo.

Replacements: Rica, Macias, Garcia, Castelo, Del Pan, Ahis, Rial, Meliz


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