Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio admitted he was emotionally drained after making a victorious return to Twickenham in the Help for Heroes Challenge match.
Dallaglio praised Britain’s armed services after more than 52,000 spectators turned out for a match designed to raise money for Headley Court rehabilitation centre.
The game saw the Help for Heroes XV run in four tries to two against Scott Gibbs’ International XV and after the game Dallaglio paid tribute to Britain’s armed forces.
He said: “The response we have had this year has been magnificent.
“We have met a lot of the guys who been involved in war and it is pretty emotional in the dressing room at the moment.
“Today the public showed what this cause means to them. It was great day.
“Today was about the servicemen and women who defend our shores. We are very proud of what they do and we wanted to show them today.
“None of the bodies were moving as fast as they used to out on the field today but fortunately our armed forces are.”
Will Greenwood and Richard Hill were among the try scorers for the Heroes XV in a game featuring seven of England’s 2003 World Cup winning squad.
Hill said: “From the moment we met up on Wednesday everyone bought into the whole event.
“I knew there wasn’t going to be as much energy. My fitness wasn’t what it was but we struggled through.”
Dallaglio finished the game by converting Joe Simpson’s try but all the players were keen to focus on the dedication of Britain’s forces.
Gibbs said: “I’m a bit battered and bruised. That was the small sacrifice we made for today. We knew it wasn’t going to easy but it was worth it.
“It was a spectacle that people can be proud of for an extremely worthy cause.
“The family of rugby united today. We’re delighted to have played our part in it.
“It’s been a humbling experience for all of us.”
International XV manager Ieuan Evans added: “Everyone who has been involved in this game can be justifiably proud.
“A lot of people put a lot into this game and I think they’ll all agree that it was worth it in the end.
“Hopefully we’ve helped to raise awareness of the Help for Heroes charity.”