England Sevens head coach Ben Ryan spoke of his pride at the performances of his team at the IRB Sevens World Cup in Moscow, despite losing to New Zealand in the final.
Ryan's men were outclassed in the final, going down 33-0 to the World Series champions, but had already exceeded expectations to make in that far in the tournament.
"As a head coach, of course I am disappointed with the final result but over the last three days I have been so proud of these lads," said Ryan.
"We have had a hard year and we have finished strongly. A lot of things went right this week in that we have won five games and we hit a World Cup Final for the first time in 20 years."
The 41-year-old admitted his side struggled to cope with the All Blacks in the first half and weren't aggressive enough as they looked to get back into the game in the second period.
"New Zealand played well in the first half whilst we didn't get out of our own half, and didn't execute what we said we were going to do," he said.
"We then played a little conservatively in the second half when we were playing catch-up but the boys will learn from this.
"There are so many young players in our squad and they'll be around for a long time. These lads have played in a World Cup final; we've had two third-place finishes in the last couple of months and a European title so we have actually got a lot to be proud of."
The England boss believes his young team came up against a New Zealand side in their prime and will learn from their experiences at the tournament.
"New Zealand are at the top of their game with some world class players at the best they'll ever be. They have hit vintage and this will probably be their best year ever," he added.
"Our side is on the up, our lads are in their early 20s and I am sure they will be in more World Cup, Commonwealth and World Series finals."