Tokyo - The Rugby World Cup has set the scene for some of the great clashes between England against Australia is one of the great rivalries in sport and the Rugby World Cup is no different. The old enemies have played each other at every single edition bar 1999.

SIGN-UP | Sign up for Sport24's 'Rucking with Rob Houwing' newsletter!

With one final apiece - in each other's back-yards - it is a history filled with drama and heartbreak and Saturday's quarter-final in Oita promises to be no different.

Here's a look back at three of the most epic encounters:

2003: Jonny's drop goal

Every England rugby fan knows the sequence. Deep into extra-time in Sydney, scrumhalf Matt Dawson makes a darting run, the ball is recycled before Dawson flings the ball out to Jonny Wilkinson whose wrong-footed drop goal wins the Webb Ellis Cup after a thrilling final.

Those three points, scored with 26 seconds left on the clock, gave England their only ever Rugby World Cup and made them the only team from the northern hemisphere to lift the trophy - ironically against a team led by their now coach Eddie Jones.

The Wallabies started the stronger roared on by a home crowd. Winger Lote Tuqiri outjumped his diminutive opposite number Jason Robinson to latch onto a huge up-and-under kick and touch down for the opening score.

Robinson got his revenge just before the break, sliding into the corner after a rampaging run from number eight Lawrence Dallaglio and clever link-up play from Wilkinson. England were 14-5 up at half-time.

Two Elton Flatley penalties allowed the Wallabies back into the game and he slotted his third of the half with barely any time left on the clock to take the match into overtime.

Wilkinson and Flatley traded penalties again and just when the game seemed destined for sudden death at 17-17, England's legendary flyhalf struck the blow to break Australian hearts.

Jonny Wilkinson


1991: Campo's cup

The 2003 triumph on Australia soil was seen as revenge for 12 years previously when the men in gold had snatched the trophy from England at HQ.

After Australia had recorded a shock victory over favourites New Zealand and England had defeated Scotland - helped by Gavin Hastings' inexplicable miss in front of the posts - the two old rivals faced off in the final at Twickenham.

Australia's outspoken wing David Campese had goaded England in the run-up, criticising them for kicking too much and not using their outdoubted wide talents of centre Jeremy Guscott and winger Rory Underwood.

Perhaps stung by this, England played a more expansive game in the final but to little avail. The only try in the match was from an Australian line-out catch and drive, as Tony Daly bundled over.

England argued they should have had a penalty try when Campese deliberately knocked the ball on to prevent a pass to Underwood who would have had a clear run to the line. However, only a penalty was awarded - one of two kicked by England.

In the end, Australia ran out 12-6 winners. Campese was joint top try-scorer in the tournament with six and was widely considered the best world's best player.

David Campese

2015: England embarrassed

Never has a host failed to reach the quarter-final of a Rugby World Cup but that was the humiliating fate that befell England in 2015 and, to their great joy, it was Australia that delivered the killer blow.

Stuart Lancaster's England were drawn in a 'group of death' with the Wallabies and Wales and the Welsh inflicted the first damage in the second pool game, Dan Biggar's penalty from half-way giving them a nailbiting 28-25 victory and making the Australia game a must-win.

But the Wallabies ran riot at Twickenham, flyhalf Bernard Foley scoring two tries in the first half to give Australia a handy lead which they never relinquished.

An Anthony Watson try on 56 minutes give England a brief glimmer of hope but this was extinguished when flyhalf Owen Farrell received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle with 10 minutes to go and a late Matt Giteau try sealed the Wallaby win.

Lancaster left the England job shortly afterwards to be replaced by Eddie Jones while Australia charged to the final, which they lost 34-17 to the all-conquering All Blacks.

Matt Giteau


Images: Getty