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World Cup stars have eyes on final - and no fear of England

Just one more game stands between the Irish women's rugby team and a place in the Rugby World Cup final, and Philip Doyle's side is confident that they will be in the final two.

Displaying the team's belief in itself, Ireland's out-half Niamh Briggs said: "We are really intelligent rugby players."

Speaking about their English opposition she said she was not afraid, even though a number of their players play professionally in the Rugby Sevens series.

Ahead of the game at 5pm this evening a spokeswoman for the Irish squad said: "We're hopeful we'll make it to the final.

"We don't fear England no more than we feared New Zealand."

The women's side beat the All Blacks last Tuesday by 17 points to 14.

Ireland finished top of their pool beating every team they met and finished up with a bonus point after scoring six tries in their game against Kazakhstan.

They thrashed the Central Asian team - which is made up of female army personnel - 40-5.

The team also beat former World Cup champions, USA 23-17.


The American side, who Ireland played first, were very "physical" said the Irish captain Fiona Coghlan.

"There's a silent confidence about this team that hasn't changed since the first game," added the IRFU spokeswoman.

"They're completely focused. There's not much change there in terms of calm and focus."

Today, the side - led by the Clontarf secondary school teacher Coghlan - will play in the 20,000-seater Stade Jean Bouin, in Paris. And it is expected to sell out with just 300 seats left.

Her teammate Alison Miller said that she will "relish" playing in front of the large crowd.

Neither the size of the stadium nor the opposition will pose a threat to the Irish side.

They play England every year in the Six Nations, explained the IRFU spokeswoman.

Last night the rugby players went to bed at 9pm for ten hours sleep and invoked the IRFU 24-hour social media ban to avoid any distractions.