England women's rugby: Red roses battle past Canada to book place in World Cup final

England women's rugby team became the first side to secure a place in the World Cup final after a nail-biting win over Canada.

The Red Roses resisted a late surge by their amateur semi-final rivals in Auckland to end the closely fought game 26-19, which saw both squads score three tries.

Simon Middleton's team had to dig deep to extend their winning run to 30 matches and set up a showdown with hosts and defending champions New Zealand on 12 November.

Speaking after the game, Middleton said: "We came here to get into the final, and we had to do it by hook or by crook today.

"Canada were absolutely brilliant today, they just don't make mistakes with the ball and put you under a lot of pressure.

"We have a bit of work to do this week in terms of putting our game back together because we didn't play well today."

England captain Sarah Hunter said: "It was incredible.

"We've come here to get into that game next week, but boy did Canada really test us.

"Right down to the wire it went, so proud of the way the team dug in at the end. Canada were relentless, they came and they came and they came and the girls just put their bodies on the line.

"We were desperate to get into that final next week."

She added: "We're a team that realises we haven't won anything yet. We'll save celebrating until if we get the result we want next week.

"You can see what it meant to the girls afterwards. We've got our job done, we'll enjoy it, but the big statement is next week. That's where our focus has to move to.

"It was a tough game out there. Recovery is absolutely key now. We need to be as fresh and as ready to go as possible."

Canada captain Sophie de Goede was full of praise for here side's effort.

"There was no difference in talent out there today," she said.

"Just imagine what we could do with more games and more resources. I'm really proud to be Canadian and there's a bright future ahead of us."

England will face the Black Ferns in the final at Eden Park after France flyhalf Caroline Drouin missed a last-gasp penalty to win the semi-final.

New Zealand emerged 25-24 winners after coming from behind at half time to set up a blockbuster final against the Red Roses next Sunday.