'This is a big deal'
SPOTLIGHT: Anthony Watson says England have multiple motivations to win the inaugural year-end Nations Cup when they face France at Twickenham on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Bath wing said Eddie Jones’ men were eyeing a second piece of silverware immediately after claiming the 2020 Six Nations title and could avenge their only defeat of the year – a 24-17 reverse in Paris in February.
Watson said England would also have the chance to prove they had learned from their World Cup final defeat by South Africa 12 months ago.
“This is a big deal,” said Watson, who made his comeback from an ankle injury in the win against Wales on Saturday.
“We want to win trophies. It’s something that when you’re done with rugby you can say you’ve won.
“It’s irrelevant whether it’s the Nations Cup or the Six Nations, a tournament that’s just been made or one that’s been there for however many years. It’s still an opportunity to win a trophy.
“Also, putting yourself in finals is where you want to measure yourself as a player. It’s the highest pressure game you can play in and it’s a real test of you as a player and as a team.”
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The year-end Nations Cup has struggled to capture the imagination due to the focus on defence and kicking.
France are forced to field a shadow team for what should have been a blockbusting climax due to an agreement with their clubs.
But Watson said: “It’s definitely a big deal, irrelevant of how it’s portrayed and irrelevant of all the talk about what team France are putting out. It’s a big game.
“There’s loads of stuff that could motivate the lads this week. It’s a final and there’s a trophy to be won at the end of it. In the previous final we played, we didn’t win.”