Lydia Thompson looks ahead to World Cup after England win over Ireland in Six Nations decider
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 22/03/17 9:52am
Lydia Thompson believes England’s Grand Slam-clinching win in Dublin is the perfect preparation for this summer’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.
England ran riot against Ireland, scoring 29 points in the second half as they cruised to a 34-7 win at Donnybrook, sealing their first Six Nations Championship since 2012.
Thompson put the gloss on the win with the last of England's five tries, and the England wing hopes to see Friday night's atmosphere replicated when the World Cup hits Dublin and Belfast in August.
"The crowd was phenomenal and that's what we want to play in front of," Thompson told Tuesday's Sportswomen show on Sky Sports News HQ.
"It was a loud, very Irish-dominated crowd but it was incredible to be a part of and it definitely felt like a stage when you were on that pitch.
"It was a great opportunity for us to get ready for a World Cup environment where hopefully we will get those large crowds again.
"The weather wasn't great but because of the artificial pitch we were able to play that fast rugby that we like playing."
England's dominance in the Women's Six Nations was underlined by the fact that they averaged more than 43 points per game across their five matches in the championship.
Thompson, who was joined in the studio by team-mates Tamara Taylor and Harriet Millar-Mills, feels England have reaped the benefits of playing plenty of rugby across formats in recent years.
"I think we've been really lucky if you look at the build-up over the last three years since the last World Cup," she said.
"We've had a lot of girls that have gone on to Sevens and benefited from that with their passing game and their ability to react very quickly. Then we had the Autumn Internationals, which was a fantastic opportunity to play against New Zealand and Canada and we had some really hard games there.
"We have the New Zealand tour between now and the World Cup and that will mean more tough games and give us more experience, but I don't think we can rule out how tough some of the [Six Nations] games were.
"France at the start of the Six Nations [which England won 26-13] really tested us - and if it wasn't for Emily Scarratt's kicking ability to capitalise on the penalties - that was quite a tough game.
"I think in every game we've had, the teams have challenged us on different ways. We've definitely improved our ability to adapt to different teams and hopefully the New Zealand tour will present us with more opportunities to test ourselves."