POOLE-born Amy Wilson-Hardy and England’s women’s rugby sevens team completed their Rio redemption as they took bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

Pipped by Canada in the Olympic bronze-medal match two summers ago, fate conspired to match the two teams up again on the Gold Coast.

But this time it was England who emerged victorious – thanks to a fast start with tries from Lydia Thompson, Claire Allan, Deborah Fleming and Jess Breach that opened up a 24-5 lead.

They had to hold on in the end as Canada roared back, but the 24-19 final score line left Wilson-Hardy beaming from ear to ear.

“To finish with a win has certainly put a few wrongs right from before,” she said.

“Those kind of games are not always the prettiest but we ground it out in the end and it feels so good.

“I always thought we had it, this is such a special group and we have so much pride and heart – I knew that we could grind it out.

“It was about sticking together and keeping the ball – they are a really good side, very threatening and with some great runners but I knew if we looked after the ball we could do it.

“We have moved on a lot from Rio, this is a different squad.

“We can’t dwell on that kind of thing. That was a tough time emotionally but it gave us the hunger to come back.

“It has been two years since then and this is a great group – I am just excited about the other things to come.”

England’s hopes of a gold-medal match were crushed on in the Robina Stadium as the eventual champions New Zealand handed them a 26-5 defeat.

But Wilson-Hardy insists there is plenty more to come from this squad as they aim to bridge the gap to the Kiwis and the reigning Olympic champions Australia, who claimed silver.

“This kind of tournament has given us a really good opportunity to play against the top sides,” she added.

“I think that is what has been missing in the past few tournaments – we haven’t been fighting with the best – with all due respect – because we have had some tough games.

“But we want to play the Kiwi and Aussie girls consistently. We know we have got it in us to get in those games and rise to the top. “

Npower is the Official Partner of Team England and is giving our athletes the power of support by recording a brand new version of their anthem, Jerusalem. To listen to the track visit npower.com/teamengland