Lawes reviews England’s Rugby World Cup semi-final loss to South Africa
The last time England won the Rugby World Cup was, of course, back in 2003 when Jonny Wilkinson kicked a last-minute drop goal to break Australian hearts. The 44-year-old was easily the biggest star in the team but the contributions of his peers cannot be understated, with the likes of Martin Johnson and Jason Robinson proving crucial to England’s success.
Express Sport takes a look at every player in England’s legendary 2003 squad and what they have been up to since…
The full-back, who is best known for his crunching tackle on Mat Rogers in the final, was previously head of rugby at the Welsh Rugby Union between 2015 and 2017. He also climbed Mount Everest in 2010, a year before retiring as a player following stints with Bristol and Wasps.
Arguably one of the best wingers to have ever pulled on an England shirt, the dual-code legend famously scored his side’s only try against Australia on that memorable day. He has since returned to rugby league in a coaching capacity as joint operations manager for the Jamaica national team.
Tindall won 75 caps for England and was the last player from the 2003 squad to retire when he hung up his boots in 2014. He married Zara Phillips, the daughter of Princess Anne, in 2011 and is often seen rubbing shoulders with royalty at sporting events and public engagements.
Greenwood, who scored five tries for England on their way to the Rugby World Cup final, has enjoyed a successful post-playing career in punditry. He has worked for Sky Sports and ITV as well as being a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, while he is also a co-founder of travel and events business SuperSkills Experiences.
England’s joint-third-highest try scorer has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and The Jump since ending his rugby career in 2011. However, he is best known for his anti-bullying activism after founding the Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation a year on from his retirement.
Famed for his dramatic drop-goal against Australia in the 2003 final, Wilkinson joined Toulon’s backroom staff as kicking and skills coach after his retirement. He is now a regular TV pundit and has been in France to cover this year’s Rugby World Cup with ITV.
Dawson is another successful rugby pundit, having worked with the BBC for a number of years alongside various other TV commitments. He has been a team captain on A Question of Sport since 2004 and finished second in the 2006 edition of Strictly Come Dancing.
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Woodman, who played as a loosehead prop, was forced to call time on his career at the age of just 29 due to back injuries. He has since worked as a forwards coach for a number of teams including Australia, Wasps and Gloucester.
Thompson has been based in Dubai since retiring in 2001 and has acted as an ambassador for the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation. The 45-year-old, like many of his peers, has also worked in the media as a rugby analyst for the likes of OSN and ESPN.
Vickery has the unique honour of being the first ex-England player to win Celebrity Masterchef following his appearance on the show in 2011. He now runs successful sportswear firm Raging Bull, which was the 47-year-old’s nickname during his playing days.
The inspirational captain was unable to transfer his playing skills to his coaching career during a three-year spell as England boss between 2008 and 2011. He oversaw an underwhelming Rugby World Cup campaign which saw England bow out in the quarter-finals and has not returned to coaching since.
Kay won a total of 62 caps for England over an eight-year international career before hanging up his boots in the summer of 2010. He has since worked as an analyst for several major broadcasters and served as a non-executive director at Leicester Tigers between 2014 and 2021.
Hill remains in the England setup to this day in the role of team manager, a position he has held since 2016. He previously had a seat on the RFU council as a consultant before he was appointed as the governing body’s player pathway liaison manager in 2014.
England’s openside flanker in 2003 has enjoyed coaching stints with Leeds Carnegie and Rugby Lions, with his last full-time role at Edinburgh ending in 2013. He managed to lead an unbeaten 2011/12 season in charge of Rugby Lions in the fifth tier, winning a league and cup double in the process.
Dallaglio has joined the likes of Wilkinson and Dawson as a popular rugby pundit, covering the Rugby World Cup for ITV in 2011. He is also famed for his charity work after establishing the Lawrence Dallaglio Foundation, which helps young people to find opportunities through sport and raises funds for teenage cancer trusts.
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West retired from playing in the immediate aftermath of England’s historic triumph in 2003 and moved straight into a coaching role with the under-21 side. He went on to join Northampton as their forwards coach and currently holds the same position at Sale.
Leonard managed to win 114 caps for England before calling time on his career in 2004 and has since been active in the governance of rugby. He served as president of the RFU between 2015 and 2016 before he was appointed chairman of the British and Irish Lions, a role he left in 2022.
Corry has primarily worked in sales and motivational speaking following his retirement from professional rugby in 2009. His website also states that he is available to hire as a performance coach or a media analyst.
Moody was named on the bench in the 2003 final but went on to captain England later in his career before stepping back from rugby in 2012. The former flanker has spoken out about life with ulcerative colitis to raise awareness of the condition, while he also founded the Lewis Moody Foundation to raise money for vital research into brain tumours.
The former Saracens and Bristol scrum-half became the director of a construction company following his retirement, which came three years after England’s famous Rugby World Cup success. He has also delved into the world of reality TV and won Dancing On Ice in 2007.
Catt has enjoyed a successful coaching career since retiring from rugby and is currently part of Ireland boss Andy Farrell’s backroom team. He previously worked as a backs coach for England between 2012 and 2015 and has also spent time with Italy and London Irish as an attacking coach.
Another player forced into an early retirement due to injuries, Balshaw hung up his boots just days before Tindall in 2014. He appears to have lived a relatively private life over the last nine years but was previously involved in the running of a rugby fanzine website, rugbypigs.com.
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