George Williams says England’s heartbreaking World Cup semi-final defeat will live with him until the next tournament in 2025.
A drop goal in golden point extra-time from Stephen Crichton knocked England out of the World Cup, with Samoa finishing 27-16 winners at the Emirates Stadium.
England coach Wane struggled to hold back the tears in the post-match press conference. The vast majority of his dejected players didn’t stop for interviews in the mixed zone following England’s failure to reach a first home World Cup final since 1995 and gain the chance to end a 50-year wait to lift the trophy.
Williams, who was one of the few players to speak to the media, said: “That will probably sit with us, especially me, for three years, until the next World Cup.
“That’s the heartbreaking thing. Some people will never play in a World Cup again and we’ll never have this certain group together again so that’s why it hurts so much. That’s why there’s some tears in there.”
George Williams: It’s been one of the best six weeks of my life but we fell short
He added: “It was pretty heart-breaking watching that kick go over. It felt like it was a nightmare really, it felt it was going over forever, it went that slow.
“We probably got what we deserved, we’re way better than we showed today.
“When we did get momentum, we did things we wanted to but then we’d make an error and they’ve got too many good players for us to be off.
“It’s been one of the best six weeks of my life but we fell short.”
Can Samoa defy the odds?
Williams, meanwhile, is not ruling another upset when Samoa take on the holders and overwhelming favourites Australia at Old Trafford next Saturday, a match he intends to watch.
“I will watch, as much as it will hurt me, wishing I was playing,” he said.
“We were heavy favourites going into this. Australia will probably be heavy favourites next week but, as you’ve seen, anything can happen.”