University of Roehampton graduates Margaret Alphonsi and Alex Matthews are the queens of world rugby after helping England to the Women’s Rugby World Cup glory on Sunday.

England beat Canada 21-9 in Paris to end a run of three consecutive World Cup final defeats thanks to tries from Danielle Waterman and Emily Scarratt, who also kicked 11 points.

Flanker Alphonsi, 30, who has won 70 caps was in the starting 15, while Matthews, 21, and who plays for Richmond was substituted into the match at the Stade Jean Bouin after 65 minutes, to replace number six shirt Marlie Packer.

Alphonsi tweeted: “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.

Alphonsi completed her master’s qualification in sports and exercise science at the university in 2007.