AUCKLAND (Reuters) - England will be hurting after their heartbreaking loss to New Zealand in the women's World Cup final on Saturday but the Red Roses should be proud of what they have achieved on and off the pitch, men's coach Eddie Jones said.
England's women have dominated the sport in the past three years but saw their record 30-match winning streak snapped after a 34-31 loss to the Black Ferns, who claimed a sixth world title at Eden Park.
The loss marks a second upset in major finals for England after their defeat by South Africa in the 2019 men's World Cup but Jones said the Red Roses are "excellent ambassadors" who will inspire more youngsters to take up the sport.
"We know how tough this moment is and it will be hard to feel the positives in the immediacy but they should be very proud of what they've achieved on the pitch and off it," Jones said in a statement.
"They've played excellent rugby, had an unbelievable unbeaten run and are a really tight group," Australian Jones added.
"Back here in England we can feel the impact that they have made across the game; how many people are talking about them and enjoying watching them and they will inspire even more girls and boys to play rugby."
England will host the next women's World Cup in 2025.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)