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Tuesday, 23 October, 2001, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Wilkinson eyes greater goal
England's players taste defeat at Lansdowne Road, including Wilkinson (far right)
England's Grand Slam hopes disappeared in Ireland
England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson believes the Six Nations defeat by Ireland will help inspire the team to future glories.

Ireland's 20-14 victory on Saturday meant that England missed out on a Grand Slam for the third year running.

But Wilkinson claims these bad memories can help to inspire the England side.


Defeat is what motivates me
England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson

"I'm still getting over defeats from a couple of years ago in the World Cup," he told BBC Television's Breakfast programme.

"I choose to keep these defeats fresh in my mind."

The Newcastle star was quick to put the disappointment in perspective, preferring to view it in the context of long-term goals, namely the 2003 World Cup.

"When you realise how bad this feels, you understand why you want to win.

"And why you want to be the best in the world."

Achievable goals

Wilkinson went on to add that the setback may even have helped to highlight the areas England need to improve on.

"Perhaps this needed to happen for us to learn and understand that what we're searching for is a higher goal.

"We can get there, but this defeat tells us we're not there yet."

The 22-year-old's desire to compete at the highest level will be fully tested in the first of England's autumn internationals.

England take on reigning world champions Australia at Twickenham on 10 November.

And the Wallabies have their own bitter memories of defeat to inspire them, following England's 22-19 win last year.


Talking PointFORUM
Tune into our forum with Matt Dawson on Monday 22 October at 1500BSTDawson Q&A
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See also:

22 Oct 01 | England
22 Oct 01 | Rugby Union
23 Oct 01 | Rugby Union
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