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University to honour Rugby World Cup winning graduates

England’s Women’s Rugby squad, including University of Roehampton graduates Margaret Alphonsi and Alex Matthews, sensationally won the Women’s Rugby World Cup last night after beating opponents Canada 21-9.

Posted: 18 August 2014

image for news story University to honour Rugby World Cup winning graduates
Rugby World Cup winners and University of Roehampton graduates Alex Matthews and Margaret Alphonsi

Veteran flanker Alphonsi, 30, who has won 70 caps was in the starting 15, while Matthews, 21 who plays for Richmond at club level and who only finished her degree earlier this year, was substituted into the match at the Stade Jean Bouin in France after 65 minutes, to replace number six shirt Marlie Packer.

The University of Roehampton, where both women studied life sciences degrees, is now considering the best way to honour their spectacular achievement.

Dr Caroline Ross, Head of the Department of Life Sciences said: “Winning the World Cup Final is an exceptional result for both Alex and Maggie, especially Alex so soon after completing her degree, and we’re so proud of them. It’s wonderful to see proof that Roehampton graduates can reach the pinnacle of their chosen sports, they are great role models for our current and future students.”

The victory was the first time England have won the tournament since 1994, and came after fellow players Danielle Waterman and Emily Scaratt claimed tries, with Scarratt also scoring thanks to exceptional kicking skills.

Commenting on Twitter this morning, a day after the match on Sunday afternoon, Alphonsi said: “Best feeling in the world is waking up as a World Champion after spending 11 years of my life trying to be one. Words can’t explain. Thank you for all the good luck and congratulations messages…it’s been amazing.”

Matthews said: “We only went and did it….World Champions! Thank you to all for the overwhelming support over the past weeks. The attention the game has received has been incredible.”

Matthews graduated from the University of Roehampton with a degree in Sports Psychology less than a month ago and was a sports scholar. Margaret completed her Master’s qualification in Sports and Exercise Science at the University in 2007.

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