World cup glory for rugby star Maggie Alphonsi

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University of Bedfordshire graduate Maggie Alphonsi MBE has won the Women’s Rugby World Cup with England.

The former Sport and Exercise Science student, who was born with a club foot, was among the England side that had lost the last two World Cup finals to New Zealand, finally picked up the trophy yesterday (Sunday) after helping the Red Rose defeat Canada 21-9.

The 30-year-old Openside Flanker – who is retiring from the international game – finished her England career in style, playing a pivotal role in the victory at Stade Jean-Bouin.

The win made for England’s second World Cup – the first coming in 1994 after defeating the USA.

For Maggie it ends a glittering 75 cap international career in which she has helped her country to a record-breaking seventh successive Six Nations title and a sixth Grand Slam in seven years.

During her 11 year England career she has achieved a vast amount including being on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2012; being named on the UK 100 Power List for black and ethnic minority people for three consecutive years; and she is also an ambassador for the men’s 2015 World Cup in England.

A Flanker for club side Saracens, Maggie graduated in 2006 from the former De Montfort University site in Bedford (now a part of the University of Bedfordshire) . In 2011, the University awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Arts for her services to rugby.