Where are they now: A look at England's 2003 Rugby World Cup winners
When asked to name members of England’s 2003 World Cup-winning squad, the likes of drop-kick hero Jonny Wilkinson and inspirational captain Martin Johnson come immediately to mind. But the contributions of the whole squad in the last-gasp 20-17 Sydney success against Australia can often be overlooked. To mark replacement Iain Balshaw’s 41st birthday, here is a look at every member of England’s squad and what they have been up to since.
The full-back who made that thumping tackle on Mat Rogers became head of rugby at the Welsh Rugby Union in September 2015 – a position he held for just over two years. British and Irish Lion Lewsey retired in 2011 after stints with Bristol and Wasps. The 37-year-old climbed Mount Everest in 2010.
The rugby league convert is best remembered for his try in the World Cup final, but is now back in the league game as joint operations manager for the Jamaica national team after they secured a place in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. Robinson retired after the 2007 World Cup final before taking on a coaching stint at former club Sale, then making a one-season comeback with National League Two side Fylde in 2010.
The last of the World Cup final squad to retire, Tindall won 75 caps and spent eight years at Bath followed by nine at Gloucester. Tindall – who married Zara Phillips, the Queen’s eldest granddaughter, in 2011 – has become a leading celebrity ambassador for charitable causes and is the principal patron of Rugby for Heroes.
The former Lions, Leicester and Harlequins centre is a rugby union pundit for Sky Sports and has worked as a columnist for the Daily Telegraph. Greenwood was a key figure in England’s World Cup triumph, scoring five tries on the road to the final.
England’s joint second-highest try-scorer – level with Greenwood – is chairman of The Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation, launched to help combat bullying in the UK. He has also made a number of reality TV appearances. He featured on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 and won Channel 4’s The Jump in 2016. Cohen retired in 2011 after two years at Sale Sharks that followed stints with Northampton Saints and Brive.
Wilkinson, England’s record points scorer, retired after securing a Heineken Cup-French Top 14 double with Toulon in 2014. England’s World Cup talisman was plagued by injuries after dropping the winning goal against Australia in 2003 but shrugged it off to find success on the Mediterranean. The 40-year-old joined Toulon’s back-room staff as kicking and skills coach after retirement and is now a regular TV pundit.
Matt Dawson has been a team captain on A Question of Sport since 2004 and works as a pundit for the BBC. He also finished second to former England cricketer Mark Ramprakash on Strictly in 2006. The former Northampton and Wasps scrum-half retired in 2006, with 77 England caps and six Test appearances for the British Lions.
Loosehead prop Woodman was forced to retire prematurely at the age of 29 due to back injuries. The 43-year-old is now forwards coach at Gloucester, where he plied his trade between 1996 and 2004.
Thompson has been based in Dubai since final retirement in 2011, working as an ambassador for the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation. The Northampton hooker initially retired due to neck trouble in 2007, only to reverse the decision and sign for Brive in France. Thompson continued his international career until the 2011 World Cup, winning 73 caps.
Combative tighthead prop Vickery runs successful sportswear firm Raging Bull; owing to his playing-days nickname. Neck injuries forced Vickery to retire in 2010 after stints with Gloucester and Wasps before he moved into coaching with a stint at Worcester. The 44-year-old won Celebrity Masterchef in 2011.
England’s talismanic captain moved into an underwhelming stint as national coach, culminating in a lacklustre campaign littered with off-field issues in New Zealand in 2011. The Leicester Tigers stalwart coached England from 2008 to 2011 but failed to transfer his feared on-field reputation into management. Johnson has not returned to coaching since, instead concentrating on media work and public speaking.
The Leicester second row got away with bungling a sure-fire try by dropping the ball over the whitewash in the 2003 final against Australia. Kay has worked as a TV rugby analyst since retirement.
England’s silent assassin blindside flanker “worked in the shadows” to help Clive Woodward’s side through a tough semi-final against France, according to opponent Serge Betsen. After retiring in 2008, Hill took up a coaching role in the Saracens Academy that he held for five years. Hill was added to Eddie Jones’ backroom staff in 2016 as England team manager.
The potent openside flanker retired in 2005 after 15 years with Leicester Tigers, moving immediately into coaching. Back has enjoyed coaching stints with Leeds Carnegie and Rugby Lions, with his last full-time role at Edinburgh ending in 2013.
The former Wasps number eight heads up the Lawrence Dallaglio Foundation, helping young people find opportunities through sport and also raising funds for teenage cancer trusts. The 47-year-old is also a commentator and pundit on ITV.
Former Leicester Tigers hooker West retired straight after the 2003 World Cup, making an immediate switch to coaching with England Under-21s. The 52-year-old was forwards coach at Northampton Saints from 2007, helping the Franklin’s Gardens side claim their first Aviva Premiership title, and now has the same role at Sale.
The versatile scrummager won 114 England caps across 14 years, retiring the year after England’s World Cup triumph. Leonard founded the Atlas Foundation in 2014, which helps deprived children work towards a better future through rugby communities and initiatives.
Corry has worked in sales and motivational speaking since his 2009 retirement from rugby. The Leicester Tigers number eight went on to captain England between 2005 and 2007 following the World Cup triumph, also featuring in the squad that reached the 2007 final.
Now running his own coaching company, Moody retired in 2012 after two years at Bath that followed 14 years with Leicester. The gritty flanker has spoken out about life with ulcerative colitis, to raise awareness of the condition. He also founded the Lewis Moody foundation.
“That has held them back in the performance because it was not where would have expected, certainly against France."@LewisMoody7 tells @heagneyl he thinks the Saracens elephant might still be in the room #ENGvIRE ?????????https://t.co/3CDkTpFoSI
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 23, 2020
The former Saracens and Bristol scrum-half became the director of a construction company after retirement. Bracken quit the game in 2006 and then won the celebrity talent competition Dancing On Ice a year later.
South Africa-born Catt has become a leading coach. He was England’s attack coach under Stuart Lancaster and is currently Ireland’s assistant coach under Andy Farrell. Catt retired in 2010 after stints with Bath and London Irish, and his last England match was the 2007 World Cup final defeat to South Africa.
Balshaw was the penultimate member of the World Cup-winning line-up to retire, with knee injuries forcing him to hang up his boots just days before Tindall. The 41-year-old spent the final five years of his career at Biarritz after spells with Gloucester, Leeds and Bath.
Woodward spent an unsuccessful year’s transition into football as technical director at Southampton, before switching to athletics in 2006. The former Harlequin and Leicester Tiger held the role of director of sport for Team GB for six years, culminating with London 2012. Now Woodward works as a columnist for the Daily Mail and a TV pundit.
– Press Association
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