England women's fly half Alice Richardson believes that last week's victory over New Zealand showed exactly what her side is made of.
Richardson played the full 80 minutes in a hard-fought 16-13 victory against the current world champions at Esher on Friday.
Gary Street’s troops recovered from a five-point deficit in the second half, benefitting from a sin-binning in the 60th minute for Black Fern Lydia Crossman for infringement.
England have won the Women’s RBS Six Nations for the past seven seasons, and Richardson believes that beating a side of New Zealand’s calibre will stand them in good stead for further success.
“It was hard out there, it was like car crash after car crash,” she said. “I'm really, really happy we managed to come away with a win.
“We always knew that it was going to be a tough game, but we are just playing the best game we can and I really enjoyed it.”
Tries from Sarah Hunter and Kat Merchant sealed the narrow victory for England, who won last year’s three-Test series between the top two sides 2-0, avenging their 13-10 defeat in the 2010 World Cup Final.
The two will meet again on Tuesday at the Army Rugby Stadium in Aldershot before the series ends with a clash at Twickenham on Saturday.
And Richardson insists the side relishes testing themselves against the best in the world as they seek further improvements ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
“Aldershot is going to be another tough game, and we want to build on Friday’s win,” she added. “Winning games like this makes all the training worth it.
“It was all about execution. We got some good preparation against France, but the opportunity to play New Zealand is what I train for. We always look forward to it.
“Playing them is always good preparation before the World Cup.”