BULLS player Jess Courtman has played down an injury scare which saw her stretchered off in a neck brace following the Women's World Cup semi-final between England and New Zealand.

The centre, from Keighley, suffered a bruised spinal cord as England bowed out in a heavy 52-4 defeat in Sydney.

Courtman had sustained the injury early in the first half after falling awkwardly on her back in a tackle. After receiving treatment, she had been able to carry on and play the full 80 minutes.

Yet the 21-year-old broke down in the team warm-down on the pitch after the match and was taken to hospital.

She underwent a CT scan, which revealed no major damage, and was able to fly back home with the rest of the squad earlier this week.

On her return to the UK, Courtman – who is also due to have an MRI scan as a precaution – said: "I've a bruised spinal cord and I'll be out for a while but it is nothing too serious.

"I'm a bit battered and bruised but just feel jet-lagged more than anything."

The former Oakbank School pupil started three of England's four games, including the opening 36-8 victory over Papua New Guinea.

Having been part of the Bulls' all-conquering Super League and Challenge Cup-winning success this summer, she was one of seven Bradford players in the team to face the Ferns in the last four.

Having only trailed 14-4 at the break, England were well beaten as New Zealand upped the ante in the second period and bagged seven tries at the Southern Cross Group Stadium.

New Zealand now face holders Australia in the final on Saturday.