Dawson offers no excuses

Matt Dawson has refused to blame illness for England's 31-6 defeat to France which virtually ended any hopes of Andy Robinson's men claiming the RBS 6 Nations Championship. [more]

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Matt Dawson has refused to blame illness for England’s 31-6 defeat to France which virtually ended any hopes of Andy Robinson’s men claiming the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Dawson was among a number of England players, along with Martin Corry, Mike Tindall and Steve Thompson as well as replacements Tom Voyce and Lee Mears, to be hit by a stomach bug ahead of the emphatic defeat at the Stade de France.

However, the Wasps scrum-half insists he would not have played if he had not felt up to it.

Dawson told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We’ll not use it as an excuse. We were not up to it, our skill level wasn’t where it should have been.

"I wouldn’t have played if I wasn’t feeling anywhere near 100%. I was not feeling 100% in the middle of the night but come 1 or 2pm I felt pretty good.

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"The beginning of the game was a little bit nervy but as soon as the adrenalin is pumping you are off and running.

"There is more to be worried about than a couple of players feeling dodgy."

The defeat was England’s seventh in 14 RBS 6 Nations games since they won the World Cup and it equalled their worst margin of defeat against France

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