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Sports News

Owen Farrell sends message to England fans after agonising South Africa Rugby World Cup defeat

today22/10/2023

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England star Owen Farrell hopes the team have done the nation proud after their agonising defeat to South Africa in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup on Saturday night.

The 2003 champions were ahead for most of the match following a fine kicking performance from their fly-half.


However, England saw Handre Pollard score a late penalty to shatter their hopes and dreams of making the final for a second time in a row.

South Africa ended up prevailing 16-15 meaning they, instead of Borthwick’s side, will lock horns with New Zealand in Paris next Saturday.

Owen Farrell England South Africa

Owen Farrell’s kicking wasn’t enough as England lost to South Africa at the Rugby World Cup

GETTY

“I am unbelievably proud of this group and what they have done over this past few months together,” he said.

“It has not all gone our way as everybody knows, we have had everything thrown at us – it has been a rollercoaster.

“I’m glad where we have built to, but gutted we don’t have a crack at the big one next week.

“I am massively proud of this group and I hope everyone back home is as well.

“We came up with a plan during the week and the weather conditions played a part in it as well.

“We started the game really well, we shocked them at times and they made a few changes to change what they were doing.

“But credit to them fighting their way back into it and finding a way to win at the end.”

On playing for England and what it means to him, he added: “I am massively proud of how we have built, the support has built over the World Cup and that performance shows how proud we are to be English and to wear this shirt.

“I think we have made a start of going forward and there is a lot to come from this group.”

England coach Steve Borthwick also thinks the future is bright – and said his side thought they were going to win prior to kick off.

“In any game like this you have to credit the opposition, who found a way to win at the end,” he stated.

“South Africa are current world champions and world number ones for a reason. We thought we were going to win tonight and we came here believing we would win.

“The players deserve enormous credit for that. I think the tens of thousands of England fans watching here tonight and the millions watching at home will be very proud of their team.

“We have a very smart group of players that are learning very quickly because we have had to do it very quickly.

“The opposition have had four years and we have had four months. That is why the players deserve enormous credit.

“I asked the players to approach the training differently and they have embraced that.

“In that 23, we have seven players aged 25 or younger. That is the most of any of the semi-finalists so we have a great blend of experience and young players.

“We are disappointed but immensely proud of these guys and we’ll build going forward.

“I care an awful lot about these players so I’m really gutted for them and their families but I’m proud of them.

“I really care deeply about English rugby and our supporters.

South Africa

South Africa broke English hearts with victory in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup

GETTY

“There have been some tough times and we have work to do but you will see just how much those players care about representing their country.”

England will now lock horns with Argentina in the third-placed play-off on Friday night.

Their old rivals were sent crashing out of the competition by New Zealand.

England have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future given their excellent showings in France.

For now, however, that will be of little consolation.



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Written by: lwrradio

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