Alex Hargreaves and Ashleigh Hewson, Sydney University Women’s Rugby Club’s Wallaroo representatives, return to Australia this week with bronze medals from the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup, played in England.

Hargreaves and Hewson were in the 26-strong Australian Wallaroos squad that finished third in the tournament, played over the past fortnight.

Australia beat France 22-8 in the play-off for third, while New Zealand defeated England 13-10 to win a fourth straight World Cup gold medal.

The Wallaroos, coached by former Sydney University Football Club frontrower, John Manenti, opened the tournament with 26-12 win over Wales, lost 32-5 to New Zealand, and defeated South Africa 62-ni to finish second in their pool.

They then lost their semi-final against England 15-nil, relegating them to a play-off for third – the highest place the Wallaroos have finished at a World Cup.

The Wallaroos finished fifth in 1998 and 2002 and seventh at the 2006 World Cup in Canada, where New Zealand beat England in the decider and France finished third.

The 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup was the sixth time teams from around the globe have battled for the title, although it is only the fourth occasion in which Australia has competed.