France 25 Ireland 18

Ireland captain Fiona Coghlan hailed her team as an “amazing bunch” after a historic fourth-place finish at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France. 

Philip’s Doyle’s side lost out to the hosts in the play-off game in Paris, 25-18. 

Ireland led 15-10, with tries from Niamh Briggs and Grace Davitt, at the break but France rallied in the second half to claim third place. 

Speaking about their tournament after the game, Coghlan said: “We knew coming into it we were good enough to be to be top four so to get there, beating New Zealand long the way, was obviously amazing but this isn’t how you want to finish. 

“You get to the business end of the season, you lose two games and that’s disappointing. 

“Particularly after the first half I thought we played really well, second half, we coughed up a little too much ball and to give away a cheap penalty at scrum time isn’t good enough. 

“The girls are an amazing bunch, we’re just a little bit disappointed now with the finish.”

Meanwhile, Ireland's semi-final conquerors England lifted the World Cup trophy after beating Canada 21-9 in this evening's final.

England's triumph comes 20 years and three final defeats since their first World Cup triumph.

Canada wing Magali Harvey was tonight named the IRB Women’s Player of the Year for 2014, the first Canadian to win the prestigious award.

Harvey took the award over the other three nominees - Ireland full-back Briggs, Kelly Russell of Canada and France’s Safi N’Diaye.