Jenny-May Clarkson empathises with England, says she 'couldn't bear to look' at 2002 Comm Games silver medal

Former Silver Fern Jenny-May Clarkson has offered a different perspective on England's treatment of their silver medals after losing the Rugby World Cup final, drawing from her own experiences to do so.

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The former Silver Fern settled for second after losing to Australia so she knew exactly what England felt in Japan. Source: Breakfast

England's players were slammed for their swift removal of the silver medals they were presented after losing the Rugby World Cup final to South Africa on Saturday night.

Many took them off soon after they were hung around their neck and a couple of players refused to wear them in the first place.

Clarkson understood that feeling better than many who were judging the actions.

England's Joe Marler removes his runners up medal after the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. Source: Getty

"I was at the [2002] Commonwealth Games and we lost in double-overtime to Australia in the UK," Clarkson said on TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

"I remember someone coming up to me and going, 'oh, it's just a game mate - why are you so upset?' and it's stuck with me to this day.

"I had sacrificed my job and studying at the time to put everything into this one campaign and we fell at the last hurdle.

"It wasn't like we didn't expect to be in the final - we expected to be in the final and we expected to win it so to come away with a silver medal was gut-wrenching."

When asked by her Breakfast colleagues if she removed her silver medal as quickly as the English did, the 26-Test Silver Fern said "no" but she knew why they did.

"When I looked at it, I took it off - I didn't take it off during the ceremony but after the ceremony, I took it off and I couldn't bear to look at it.

"My mother had it for a number of years. I didn't even know where it was."

Saturday night was England's third loss in a Rugby World Cup final after 1991 and 2007.