Jonny Wilkinson warns Argentina to feel the England backlash and insists: We’ll come out fighting

Jonny Wilkinson has vowed to come out fighting after England’s poor start to the autumn internationals, the 18-9 home defeat to Australia.

Jonny Wilkinson

Nine points: Jonny Wilkinson

The outside-half said after a man-of-the-match display in his first England outing since 2008: ‘It’s about how we react to his disappointment.

‘We have to make sure that this defeat means something to this team, and make sure
that it brings us closer together.

‘I believe that this defeat will be an important part of this team’s foundation. It is difficult because the initial reaction is to be devastated.

‘We put so much into playing for England. Not just running around the field but your hopes, aspirations and desires for everyone else around.

‘But in a day or so we will start to appreciate how much good a defeat like this could do for us. How much will, of course, depend on us, and how we react as we head towards the Argentina game (next Saturday).’

Wilkinson, back after a 20-month injury absence, had guided England to victory on each of his previous five appearances against the Wallabies — including the 2003 World Cup final and 2007 quarter-final.

But now he believes England can draw inspiration from Australia, who went into the
game after winning just one of their previous seven Tests.

Jonny Wilkinson

Grounded: Jonny Wilkinson shields the ball

‘The Australians have been through a tough campaign, but you could see how they have learned from their defeats — we need to do the same,’ added Wilkinson after scoring all of England’s nine points.

Jonny Wilkinson

Dejected: Jonny Wilkinson walks off after England's defeat

‘They are a much better team from those defeats and a classic example of how to act after adversity. Wilkinson revealed the huge level of disappointment that ran through the England dressing room after the defeat.

‘The devastation is something that is good to see,’ said Wilkinson who was winning his 71st England cap.

‘The areas we need to improve will be technical. But now we have that marker we can use it - next time I have no doubt England will be better for it.

‘We lost control out there; we lost our foothold in the game in the time either side of half-time. We lost momentum then and spent a long time in our own half. We tried to relieve the pressure but it kept coming. When you defend that long you’d be a fool to think you can keep a team out forever. We’ll be disappointed with how those two tries happened.

‘For me the game was a marker, to see where I fit into things: what is going to work for me — how can I get more out of the guys around me?’

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