Featured Teams


2010-10-25 19:54

Captain: Lewis Moody

Coach: Martin Johnson

RWC Appearances: 6 (First in 1987)

Best result: Champions 2003

The history of the England rugby team extends back to 1872, when the side played their first official Test match against Scotland and lost by one try, and they have since become the most successful rugby team in Europe.

England have won the Six Nations Championship and its predecessors (the Home Nations Championship and Five Nations Championship) 26 times in total, competed in every World Cup, reached the final three times and are the only team outside of the Southern Hemisphere to have lifted the Webb Ellis Cup.

The team did not perform well at the inaugural World Cup in 1987 and lost to Wales in the quarter-finals of the tournament after finishing second in their group. They again finished pool runners-up in 1991, but recovered to beat France in the quarter-finals and Scotland in the semi-finals, before suffering a 12 – 6 final defeat to Australia.

At the 1995 tournament in South Africa, England topped their group and defeated Australia 25–22 at the quarter-final stage, before being beaten by the All Blacks in the semi-final and then losing their third place play-off match to France.

The 1999 competition saw England again finish second in the group stage. Though they proceeded to win a play-off game against Fiji they went out of the tournament in the quarter-finals, losing 44–21 to South Africa.

England exacted revenge over South Africa in the early stages of the 2003 tournament, winning 25–6 to qualify for the knockout stages as winners of Pool C. They defeated Wales in their quarter-final, before a subsequent semi-final victory against the French earned them a place in the final in Sydney. After a tense match and a 20 minute period of extra time, England triumphed 20–17 over Australia to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

The 2007 defence of the cup in France got off to a poor start, with a below par victory over the United States and a heavy 36–0 defeat to South Africa leaving the holders on the brink of elimination at the group stage.

Improved performances against Samoa and Tonga saw England again reach the knockout stages as pool runners-up, before a surprise 12–10 defeat of Australia in Marseille and a narrow 14–9 victory over the host nation France carried England to a second successive final appearance. The final was played in Paris on 20 October against South Africa, who won by 15 points to 6.

England's Jonny Wilkinson became the highest overall points scorer in World Cup history when he kicked all 12 points in the team's quarter-final victory over Australia in 2007. He kicked a further 9 points (including a 40 metre drop goal) in the semi final and 6 in the final defeat to South Africa.

The current England team have a good mix of youth and experience, but have not had the same impact players on top form that they had earlier in the decade. Much will depend on who gets the number 10 jersey, and how they perform, as well as whether or not they will be able to compete effectively at the breakdown.


Forwards: Props: Dan Cole, Alex Corbisiero, Andrew Sheridan, Matt Stevens, David Wilson, Dylan Hartley, Lee Mears, Steve Thompson, Louis Deacon, Courtney Lawes, Tom Palmer, Simon Shaw, Tom Croft, Nick Easter, James Haskell, Lewis Moody , Tom Wood.

Backs: Delon Armitage, Ben Foden, Chris Ashton, Mark Cueto, Matt Banahan, Shontayne Hape, Mike Tindall, Manu Tuilagi, Toby Flood, Jonny Wilkinson, Joe Simpson, Richard Wigglesworth, Ben Youngs.

Key Player

Mark Cueto
Height: 1.83m
Weight: 96kgs

Vastly experienced, very quick and with a great step, Cueto will be a spearhead of the England point-scoring machine if they are to have success.


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