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The three fixable factors behind Eddie Jones' England stagnation

Eddie Jones' England weren't far away from making the grade.

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The Eddie Jones message sent to crestfallen Red Roses

By Ian Cameron
Eddie Jones - PA

England head coach Eddie Jones sent a heartfelt message commiserating with the Red Roses after their narrow loss to the Black Ferns in the Rugby World Cup final in Auckland.

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Hosts New Zealand ran out 34-31 winners despite trailing for most of the match against a England side who had to dig deep after Lydia Thompson was sent off after just 18 minutes for a head contact on Portia Woodman.

Simon Middleton’s side were hot favourites to win, having not lost a game in 30 coming into the final, but ultimately it wasn’t to be for the Six Nations champions.

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In the aftermath of the loss, men’s head coach Jones sent the following message from the England men’s team, who were preparing to face Japan in Twickenham: “On behalf of the England men’s team we’d like to send our commiserations and congratulations to Simon, Sarah and all of the Red Roses players and staff.

“We know how tough this moment is and it will be hard to feel the positives in the immediacy but they should be very proud of what they’ve achieved on the pitch and off it.

“They’ve played excellent rugby, had an unbelievable unbeaten run and are a really tight group.

“Back here in England we can feel the impact that they have made across the game; how many people are talking about them and enjoying watching them and they will inspire even more girls and boys to play rugby.

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“They are excellent ambassadors for our great game and we look forward to seeing them go onwards from here, towards a home Rugby World Cup in England in 2025.”

Red Roses captain Sarah Hunter spoke of how the team would not be defined by the loss.

“We’re as one. We win together and lose together. There is no blame culture in this team. We’re all accountable for whether we win or lose,” said Hunter, England’s most capped player. “We can be proud of the squad we have become. The girls left everything out on the field. Our backs against the wall for 60 minutes of the game. To be in with a shot of winning right at the end…

“This is a very special group and we can be immensely proud of what we have done as a team over these last eight weeks.

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“One game doesn’t define you.”

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