England women, featuring two West Cumbrians, have beaten France Women 20-18 to make it three wins from three at the Women’s Rugby Super Series in San Diego and move top of the table.

Maryport’s Catherine O’Donnell and Keswick’s Abbie Scott started the game in California.

England went into the match off the back of two wins having beaten USA 38-5 in their opener and then overcome Canada 19-17, and the 15 unanswered points in the second half, all from centre Emily Scarratt, saw England continue their 100 per cent record so far.

England will now face New Zealand in their final match of the 2019 Super Series on Sunday, where the tournament moves to San Diego State University’s Torero Stadium for the final round.

Simon Middleton’s side sit three points above New Zealand going into the final game of the tournament on 13 points, with the Black Ferns on 10.

“It was a great Test match and hopefully everyone who watched it appreciated what both sides put into it,” said Middleton.

“The character in our team to come back from a tough position we knew we could as we’ve got a lot of belief in being able to close games out – we did it against Canada and we’ve done it again today with some monumental efforts on the field.

“We said at half-time that if we could play in the right areas of the field it was a 20-point win. We still didn’t play enough in the right areas but we got just enough to get the points that we needed.

“New Zealand will be hurting from their defeat against France, they’re world champions and it’s always going to be a tough game when you play against them. We’re going to have to regroup and dust ourselves down, but one thing we won’t be short of is spirit.”