England exit Rugby World Cup with pride but need more than grit to woo public | Jonathan Liew

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What is the wider purpose for Borthwick’s semi-finalists when so many supporters feel the team is still not speaking to them?

Brave lads. What lads. Bring them home in garlands and rosettes, these English heroes on a foreign field. All is forgiven, Steve Borthwick. One in the eye for the critics and the doubters. Sport is cruel, fine margins, and all that. This weekend England will depart the World Cup with its pride intact, with its dignity salvaged, with its future restored and with its public engrossed. With everything, in fact, except the thing they came for.

But as England began to process their stirring 16-15 defeat by South Africa in Saturday’s semi-final, this last point felt like the most minor of inconveniences. Owen Farrell declared he was “proud to be English”. “Fantastic,” scrum-half Alex Mitchell replied when he was asked how he thought England’s campaign had gone. “Before the World Cup people said we wouldn’t do very well and struggle to get out of the group.” Maybe the real World Cup, on reflection, was the haters they managed to annoy along the way.

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Written by Jonathan Liew
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/oct/23/england-exit-rugby-world-cup-with-pride-intact-but-more-than-grit-needed-to-woo-public under the title “England exit Rugby World Cup with pride but need more than grit to woo public | Jonathan Liew”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.