LONDON – Defeat by South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final will be a lesson England's players remember for the rest of their careers, according to England's former scrumhalf Matt Dawson.
After beating Australia and New Zealand to reach the final, England were favourites to claim the trophy for the first time since 2003, but were overwhelmed in a 32-12 defeat.
"England have learned a big lesson," Dawson, part of the side to beat Australia in the 2003 showpiece, told the BBC.
"Those players are going to remember that for the rest of their lives and hopefully store it up to say they are never going to feel like that again, never going to make those mistakes under that sort of pressure again and they will come back as better players."
England's scrum fell apart against the intensity of the Springboks and only during a period midway through the first half did they seriously threaten to score a try.