England will be better for defeat

England manager Martin Johnson has no doubt that Saturday's defeat to Ireland will benefit his team in the long run. [more]

England will be better for defeat

England manager Martin Johnson has no doubt that Saturday’s defeat to Ireland will benefit his team in the long run.

Johnson’s men travelled to Dublin looking for a first Grand Slam in eight years but a poor performance and a 24-8 reverse failed to make that dream a reality.

But while the former Lions skipper has admitted to being disappointed by the way in which his side ended their RBS 6 Nations campaign, he believes that the pain of defeat will spur England on to greater things.

"I have no doubt we will all come through last weekend better for it. They are smart enough and savvy enough to be better," Johnson told BBC Sport after England were crowned Championship winners following wins over Wales, Italy, France and Scotland.

"You can't manufacture the experience they have all got from this tournament.

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“To come out on top from what we said would be a very close tournament has been a heck of a job by our team.

"When you remember where we were 18 months ago, this Six Nations was fantastic.

"When you have a young squad it is very exciting, it is very new and you are making relatively big steps all the time so it is certainly an exciting group to be about.

"When you get that time together and that continuity and the success, that is what you do it for.

"I say to the players 'it is OK to want to play for England but to win for England is what you really want to do'.

"It is a good environment at the moment but we have to keep on working for that."

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