1. ITV Report

Watch the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup on ITV

Sarah Hunter is captaining England in this year's Rugby World Cup. Photo: PA

After claiming their first Six Nations Grand Slam confidence is high in the England camp as they head towards Ireland to defend the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

England's 29-21 win over New Zealand back in June saw the Red Roses claim the International Women’s Rugby Series title after previous victories over Canada and Australia.

The result of beating the Black Ferns lifted them to number one in the world rankings and firmly places England as pre-tournament favourites.

England are captained by Sarah Hunter and she admits their recent successes will count for little if they don’t deliver in Belfast and Dublin.

"We have got the title of world champions but that means nothing now, that competition has been and gone. Everyone starts from scratch and the slate is wiped clean." she told World Rugby

"Any team that goes to the World Cup will be going there to be win it. We know there will need to be a step change in the level of performance that we need to take when we get to Ireland.”

England claimed a series victory over New Zealand earlier this year. Credit: PA

England are favourites to top Pool B where they will face Spain, Italy and the USA however Hunter isn't leaving anything to chance.

“It’s a cliché but we’ll take it one game at a time," she said. “We will be looking at our first game against Spain as our first job in hand knowing that we’ll have to put our best performance out there to win that."

Hunter, is preparing for her third Women’s Rugby World Cup and she feels this tournament will be the best and most competitive yet.

“This is probably the most competitive World Cup I have been involved in, the standard of women’s rugby has grown and grown and grown. That’s brilliant.

As an international player, you want every game to be competitive and to have to play at your best to get the result you need.

I think it will be a fantastic showcase of the women’s game.”

You can watch the Women's Rugby World Cup live on ITV this August, starting with England's game against Spain on ITV4 and the ITV hub next Wednesday from 1:30pm.