Ten-try England women dismantle Italy in Dublin

The 35-year-old lock was presented with No 128 in English rugby's female line of succession

The 35-year-old lock was presented with No 128 in English rugby's female line of succession

England's defence of their World Cup title continues to simmer as try doubles from Emily Scarratt, Danielle Waterman and Lydia Thompson illuminated a comfortable victory over Italy.

Waterman's fine break set up centre Scarratt for the opening touchdown in the 10th minute and England made it 12-0 in the 16th minute when number eight Alex Matthews went over.

Italy started to narrow the gap, with a penalty and a try from Maria Magatti bringing the score back to 12-8 with 22 minutes on the clock.

It was not ideal - too many handling errors and an indifferent scrum will not have gone unnoticed by the head coach, Simon Middleton - but it was a case of mission accomplished for England, who are cruising towards the semi-finals.

Three 2014 World Cup winners - Tamara Taylor, the second row, Marlie Packer, the flanker, and scrum half Natasha Hunt - as well as Amy Wilson Hardy, the wing, all played their first part in this campaign, and contributed to a more well-oiled performance.

England responded with a similarly well-worked try from Thompson, the winger's 29th in global rugby, and just before the break flanker Marlie Packer's storming run set up skipper Amy Cokayne for another to make it 22-8 at half-time.

England will face the United States in their final pool game on Saturday.

There were also tries for Les Ketu, Stacey Waaka, Kelly Brazier and Theresa Fitzpatrick.

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