Analysis: The sun will rise again for youthful Red Rose

These scars will take some time to heal.

These scars will take some time to heal.

To get so close to winning it all and then to have it ripped from you in such brutal fashion on the biggest stage of all is a bitter pill.

But in the fullness of time, Eddie Jones and this England team can take enormous pride from their campaign in Japan.

After all, they produced one of the country’s greatest-ever showings in dispatching the world champion All Blacks in the semi-finals.

But in the end, the biggest prize in the sport eluded them as the Springboks prevailed.

Jones could have few complaints in the end.

“South Africa were worthy winners, they played very well,” he said.

“They were too good for us on the day and unfortunately, we couldn’t get into the game. And when we had opportunities, we didn’t take them.

“It was just one of the days where South Africa were too good for us, so they’re worthy winners.”

But compare this to four years ago when England were dumped out of their own tournament inside three weeks.

The steps this side have taken under Jones since then are sizable indeed.

As Joe Marler admitted afterwards amidst the disappointment: “This team, if they keep developing the way they have been, they will dominate for a long period and that is a joy to see.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the last ten weeks and being part of it, seeing the growth of the youngsters, they have definitely got a bright future ahead of them.”

Under Jones, England have won a Grand Slam and two Guinness Six Nations titles, whitewashed the Wallabies Down Under, equalled the world record for wins in a row and dumped the defending champions out of the World Cup.

They end the tournament as the world’s second best team, the rankings might say third, but they have the silver medals to prove it.

And do not forget, this was a World Cup final team that had the youngest average age of the professional era.

They will come again, Sam Underhill is 23, Tom Curry 21, George Ford still just 26.

And don’t forget Kyle Sinckler, cruelly injured out of this final inside only three minutes but now, according to Marler and many other judges, one of the best tightheads in the world.

They will take their medicine tonight, and into the new season.

“The boys are very disappointed, but we have to be proud over what we have done, what we have built over the last four years from where we started to where we are now,” added Henry Slade, another who should come again in France in four years’ time.

“There has been a lot of hard work and made massive improvements.

“If you look at some of the performances from some of the guys tonight and through the tournament, the likes of (Tom) Curry, (Sam) Underhill, Fordy has been class, there are a lot of guys with another one or even two World Cups in them.

“That is a very positive thing. We are disappointed now, but we are in a much better place now to go forward and push on.

“A lot to look forward in the future.”

And by the time the 2020 Championship rolls around, England will begin as one of the favourites, and with plenty of lessons learned.

“It has been a massive learning experience,” added Underhill.

“I would like to think I am a better player than when I started, months ago. It has been awesome.

“There is a reason why some of these guys who have got into our side are as good as they are. Dedication, mindset, work ethic and enjoyment.

“There is some much I will take personally out of this. I will probably have to sit down and think about and make sure I don’t forget it.”