England fly-half Katy Mclean believes the side have made a statement of intent ahead of the Women’s Rugby World Cup after sealing a clean sweep in the International Women’s Rugby Series in New Zealand.
The Red Roses defeated New Zealand 29-21 in the final game of their tour, having earlier recorded victories against Canada and Australia.
And Mclean paid tribute to her team mates.
“We’ve played some hard games out here and finishing with New Zealand in New Zealand is as tough as it gets,” she said.
“It’s a statement of intent from us, we haven’t been perfect but we’ve shown we can build as we go along.”
England begin their World Cup defence in Ireland against Spain on 9 August and Mclean says there will be no complacency ahead of tournament.
“We haven’t been great over this series but to come out and deliver a performance like that against tough opposition in that environment shows the quality of this side and how competitive we are,” she added.
“For us it’s about enjoying today and enjoying the series. When we reflect on this in a few days’ time it will be very sweet.
“However, we are not silly enough to think anything is won here, it’s about doing it at the World Cup in August that really counts.”
And captain Sarah Hunter says the squad should be proud of their performance against the Black Ferns.
“We have built through the Series and to come out and to put in a performance like that against New Zealand is something we’re very pleased and happy about,” said the number eight.
“We wanted to stick to our processes, stay patient and that’s exactly what we did today. We took everything we’ve been doing in training onto the pitch tonight."
Hunter also felt there was a vast improvement in the performance against New Zealand, saying: “The teams we have played over the last couple of weeks are very different to the European sides we played in the Six Nations and so it took a little while to find our feet against Australia.
“We were then a little disappointed with the way we played against Canada in attack as we didn’t control the game and had too many unforced errors.”
She added: “We’ve worked really hard over the last few days on the short turn around and analyse our performance and we certainly put that into practice tonight. Everyone did their job and did what they needed to do which is exactly what you want from your players in games like tonight.”