Rugby World Cup final: Heartbreak for England as Red Roses lose to New Zealand

England have suffered heartbreak again after losing to New Zealand for the fifth time in the Rugby World Cup final.

Despite a strong start, the first-half sending off of winger Lydia Thompson proved crucial after a reckless tackle on Portia Woodman in the 18th minute.

A hat-trick from hooker Amy Cokayne and tries from flanker Marlie Packer and fullback Ellie Kildunne had kept England ahead for all but 15 of the 80 minutes.

However, winger Ayesha Leti-l'iga scored a try nine minutes from time to give New Zealand a 34-31 victory.

It secured a sixth world title for the Black Ferns at a packed Eden Park in New Zealand.

England skipper Sarah Hunter said: "I'm gutted. I'm so proud of the team. We came out fighting.

"We had our backs against the wall for 60 minutes of that game but we never gave up, we kept coming out.

"One result doesn't define the squad that we are, the people that we are and hopefully what we've created."

Black Ferns captain Ruahei Demant: "I can't even put it into words. All I can say is thank you - I am so proud of our team.

"It has been really challenging. Most people don't even know that last year we went on a northern tour and got pumped. The way the players have turned themselves around - there's a lot that is unseen.

"We've sacrificed so much to get one chance in a lifetime, to win a world cup at home, and we did it."

Earlier, France won the bronze medal after a 36-0 demolition of Canada, scoring five tries.