sport news Nikita Parris ready to face serial winners USA with England in Women's World ...

It was the look on Nikita Parris's face, as much as the sentiment she was expressing, which told you that she will not be leaving anything on the field in a World Cup semi-final on the banks of the Rhone on Tuesday.

The talk had just turned to Phil Neville's disclosure that, as well as putting their tournament semi-final hex behind them, his England players want to become 'bad-ass women' — tough, the best at what they do, taking no prisoners.

Could England really be 'badder', the 25-year-old was asked, than serial winners the United States? 

Nikita Parris is a symbol of England's passion in their quest for Women's World Cup final spot

Nikita Parris is a symbol of England's passion in their quest for Women's World Cup final spot

The baddest of the bad, whose power and extreme athleticism Neville considers more dangerous than he publicly lets on, even though his team beat them to last spring's SheBelieves Cup.

'Why shouldn't we think we can't be badder than them when we went to the SheBelieves and we won it and we went toe to toe with them?' said Parris.

'You know, we beat America in the past. We beat them 1-0 (in the recent past). Why shouldn't we think we can beat them? Why do we have to come to this tournament semi-final and think, 'Oh it's America?' Nobody fears America. I don't fear America and I don't think my team-mates do.'

England are approaching the semi-final full of confidence they can upset the odds in Lyon

England are approaching the semi-final full of confidence they can upset the odds in Lyon

Parris's eyes danced as she talked, hardly pausing for breath, hearing the suggestion that SheBelieves was a friendly tournament and the USA are a side who annihilated Thailand 13-0.

'No disrespect to Thailand but 13-0 is against Thailand,' said the Liverpudlian. 'Come on... I don't want to disrespect any other team, but Thailand... Yes they did show the ruthless part of them at times. Don't get me wrong. But we're not Thailand!'

Her animation will not have surprised the FA contingent in attendance. Parris had been making the same points in the car on the way to the interview. 

You only need to have witnessed her on the field at close quarters this past month, demanding possession, to appreciate she is an emblem of a far less diffident England side than the ones who lost their last two tournament semi-finals.

Being part of what would be the first England team since Geoff Hurst and Co to lift a World Cup is not, in all honesty, of much interest to her. 'Yeah of course we know,' she said when a French journalist put it to her.

'It's history. We're well aware of that. We've just got to concentrate on the game itself — not past history or future history.'

For a real sense of where all this intensity comes from, visit the streets of the place she calls home in Toxteth,

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