England players blasted for not wearing runner-up medals after World Cup loss to South Africa


England were left heartbroken by a 32-12 defeat to South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama on Saturday.

The Red Roses found themselves on the back foot just three minutes into the contest when prop Kyle Sinckler was knocked out in an accidental collision and had to be replaced.

South Africa seized the initiative and produced a dominant display to take a commanding 12-6 lead into the interval.

England fought back to convert four penalties through captain Owen Farrell, though they never looked capable of reeling in the ruthless Springboks.

It was a harrowing way to spoil what could’ve been the end of a 16-year wait for glory, and the ensuing disappointment among the England camp was palpable.

Eddie Jones said in his post-match interview, per BBC Sport: “They were too good for us at the breakdown today. That's the great thing about rugby, one day you're the best team in the world and the next a team knocks you off."

"The silver medal is not as good as the gold medal, but it is a silver medal and I am proud of my players," he added, per The Sun.

"We struggled to get on the front foot, they had dominance and it's hard to play on the back-foot ball.

"South Africa are worthy winners, but I can't fault the effort of our players, my team are hurting badly."

The England head coach was full of praise for his players, they didn’t show the same appreciation for their performance when collecting their prize.

England v South Africa - Rugby World Cup 2019 Final

Certain members of the squad questionably removed their runner-up medals while the ceremony continued on the pitch.

Lock Maro Itoje even refused to wear his medal at all.

Despite sharing the anguish of the loss, fans were incensed by the players’ lack of grace in defeat, with many taking to social media to voice their disapproval.

While it’s not a good look, the heat of the moment probably got the better of the England players in this instance.

The hours following a World Cup final defeat must be agonising, but there’s certainly no shame in being second-best on the biggest stage in international rugby.

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