Roehampton Graduates Triumph In Rugby World Cup Final

England’s women won RWC for first time in 20 years on Sunday

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University of Roehampton

A pair of Roehampton sports graduates helped England claim only their second Women’s Rugby World Cup on Sunday, prevailing 21-9 over Canada in Paris.

Back row player 21 year old Alex Matthews, pictured right without the ball, who plays for Richmond at club level, and veteran flanker Margaret Alphonsi, 30, who has won 70 caps, both turned out for England during the squad’s triumph at the Stade Jean Bouin in France. In what may well be her last international appearance after an illustrious career, Alphonsi started and played the whole match. Matthews came on as a second-half replacement, to help quell a late surge by the Canadians.

England’s women have reached the final of the tournament four times in the past, but on the past three occasions had left with runners-up medals, losing to New Zealand on each occasion.

Alex graduated from the University of Roehampton with a degree in Sports Psychology less than a month ago and was a sports scholar. Margaret completed her Master’s qualification in Sports and Exercise Science at the University in 2007.

Dr Caroline Ross, Head of the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Roehampton, where both women studied, said: “Reaching the World Cup Final is an exceptional result for both Alex and Maggie, especially Alex so soon after completing her degree, and we’re very proud of them. It’s wonderful to see proof that Roehampton graduates can reach the pinnacle of their chosen sports; they are great role models for our current students, and we wish them the very best of luck for the final on Sunday.”

Following the final result on Sunday, Alex said on Twitter: "Thank you to all for the overwhelming support over the past weeks. The attention the game has received has been incredible!"

August 18, 2014he ball, who had appeared in England's last two unsuccessful World Cup Final appearances, added: “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."

Read more about sports courses at the University of Roehampton.

August 18, 2014