Lock Maro Itoje says it took him a long time to get over England’s painful 32-12 defeat in the World Cup final by the Springboks last November.
Itoje was arguably England’s only standout performer in the unexpectedly one-sided final where South Africa powered powered to victory.
Appearing on All Black great Dan Carter’s Instagram interview series, Kickin’ It, Itoje revealed that it took the lockdown suspension of rugby for him to finally sit down and review the Test match because it hurt too much to watch it before then.
‘The final was extremely disappointing and it took me a long while to be able to watch the final. It was too painful,’ he explained.
‘The first time I watched it back was during the lockdown and I wanted to take lessons from it. There are always lessons in victory and defeat and allowing my emotions to watch the game will make me a better player. It was still painful to watch, but I’m more optimistic about the future than the past and we have a lot of good years left in us.’
Itoje believes the Covid-19 lockdown could be a blessing in disguise for him and England because it allowed him to overcome a few niggling injuries he had been carrying.
‘The lockdown has shown that rugby can be quite fragile, not only on an individual level but also on a global level. You do need to have other strings to your bow.’
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