Wood: Defeat left me heartbroken

ENGLAND flanker Tom Wood revealed defeat in Dublin on Saturday left him feeling like his “heart had been ripped out”.

The emergence of the Northampton foward had been one of the highlights of England’s RBS 6 Nations campaign, but Wood and his teammates had no answer to the Irish onslaught which terminated their Grand Slam hopes.

“It pretty much felt like I’d had my heart ripped out because the Grand Slam was there for us and we just weren’t good enough,” said the 24-year-old, for whom the resounding 24-8 defeat represented a first defeat at Test level.

“We didn’t come here for scars and lessons, we came here for a Grand Slam but we got it wrong and it’s a bitter pill to swallow. We got caught cold really which is pretty unacceptable at this level against a quality team like that. They were under a lot of pressure but fair play to them, they came out and delivered.”

Those sentiments were echoed by James Haskell who admitted the “bitter memory” of England’s defeat could be his last in the RBS 6 Nations championship.

The Stade Francais flanker is currently in discussions about activating the option of an extra year in Paris.

Haskell knows he would be risking his international future by remaining in France because England will not select players based abroad from the start of next year.

He said: “Whatever happens with the World Cup or where I sign as a club – whether I stay in France or come back to England – this could be my last Six Nations.

“This will be a bitter memory for a long while. I am so bitterly disappointed by the way we played.”