England's World Cup Winners: Where Are They Now, 10 Years on

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 22, 2013

England's World Cup Winners: Where Are They Now, 10 Years on

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    Mark Nolan/Getty Images

    England's Rugby World Cup win of 2003 remains the finest achievement in the nation's history to date, with Jonny Wilkinson's iconic, last-minute drop goal winner going down as a moment embedded in every fan's mind.

    This week marks the 10-year anniversary of that successful trip Down Under, where a team led by Clive Woodward battled their way to the Sydney finale before overcoming their Australian hosts in the most dramatic of fashions.

    Most of those English heroes involved have now moved on from their playing careers, but a few remain in Europe's top leagues.

    Read on to find out where one might find all 22 players from that historical England squad a decade later.

1. Trevor Woodman

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Coach and commentator

    Having retired from the game in 2005, Trevor Woodman quickly moved into the coaching game, but took a strange turn in that his career down that path began in Australia.

    After a few years in the Southern Hemisphere, the forwards mentor moved onto a position with London Wasps in 2009 but, as Sky Sports report, was released from his position earlier this year.

    The 37-year-old has also dabbled in commentary in the past, providing match notes on England's Cook Cup match against Australia in 2006.

2. Steve Thompson

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Ambassador and analyst

    Having initially retired in 2007, Steve Thompson returned to rugby for a second time in 2010, but again hung up his boots after just another year in the game.

    When the ex-hooker isn't scoring 80-metre tries of the highest calibre (see above), Thompson is based out of Dubai and works as an ambassador for certain companies and charities, one of which is money management solution firm Transguard, according to ConstrucionWeekOnline.com.

3. Phil Vickery

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Analyst, coach and Celebrity Masterchef

    Phil Vickery had one of the more prolonged careers after 2003 and even went on to feature in another British and Irish Lions tour in 2009, eventually retiring entirely in 2010.

    During the 2011 World Cup, the ex-prop provided commentary for ITV's coverage of the tournament and in 2012, Vickery joined Worcester Warriors as assistant forwards coach.

    The two have since parted company, but at least the 37-year-old has his greatest trophy achievement to look back on—winning the 2011 series of Celebrity Masterchef.

4, Martin Johnson

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    David Rogers/Getty Images

    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Coach and media figure

    The captain of that most momentous of rugby occasions, Martin Johnson would of course go on to coach his national team between 2008 and 2011, but is yet to take a position elsewhere since leaving the post.

    Now, the leading lock can regularly be seen and heard sharing his views in the media, but it wasn't so long ago that the Daily Mail's Mark Duell reported a fairly sour note on the veteran's record, after he was banned from driving for speeding offences.

5. Ben Kay

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Commentator and analyst

    When boxing Austin Healey in the BT Sport studios doesn't take precedence, Ben Kay does actually contribute normal rugby coverage to the media company, adding commentary and analysis to their growing rugby team.

6. Richard Hill

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: RFU council member and coach

    A Saracens man throughout his entire career, Richard Hill now serves as a member of the RFU Council, a supremely formal role compared to that of some of his fellow 2003 winners.

    The ex-flanker has also lent his hand in coaching the Saracens academy, but left his official position in March of this year, though he remains affiliated with the club.

7. Neil Back

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    Tom Dulat/Getty Images

    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Coach, ambassador and motivational speaker

    Neil Back spent the 2012/13 season as a coach at Edinburgh rugby, but left the position in March 2013, building on his resume after roles at Leeds Carnegie and Rugby Lions.

    Now, the World Cup-winning flanker spends his time in motivational speaking and as a brand ambassador, according to his official LinkedIn page.

8. Lawrence Dallaglio

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Pundit, commentator and motivational speaker

    Lawrence Dallaglio has become one of the more successful pundits from the 2003 squad and regularly provides insight for BBC during the Six Nations Championship, as well as analysis for BT Sport.

    The ex-No. 8 has also set up his own charity, the Dallaglio Foundation, which uses sport in a positive manner with the aim of helping young people overcome their obstacles.

9. Matt Dawson

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Pundit and presenter

    Matt Dawson is yet another of those to have moved into the media spotlight since retiring from the sport in 2006, and the former scrum-half can be seen on BT Sport and BBC coverage.

    In 2004, Dawson also featured as a prominent member of A Question of Sport's panel and is now approaching his 10-year anniversary as a part of their team.

10. Jonny Wilkinson

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    Status: Active

    Club: Toulon

    One of only a few players from Woodward's rabble still plying their trade on the pitch is Toulon's Jonny Wilkinson, who last season helped the French big spenders win the Heineken Cup.

    Showing that he's still got what it takes to succeed at the age of 34, Wilkinson was even an option for Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions squad over the summer, the Guardian's Robert Kitson alleging that the veteran actually turned down the opportunity to travel Down Under.

    The fly-half's contract with Toulon expires at the end of this season, but it's unknown as to whether he'll be extending the deal.

11. Ben Cohen

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Charity foundation chairman and Strictly Come Dancing hero

    Ben Cohen was one of the lesser stars of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup and some would agree that he's gone on to become more famous as a gay icon since retiring in 2011.

    Cohen has been very public as a gay rights advocate in recent years and was even mistaken for being "openly gay" himself by politician John Bercow in February of this year, per the Daily Mail's Ben Spencer.

    Currently competing on this season of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, the ex-winger's charity work has been well-covered, the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation encouraging equality of all types.

12. Mike Tindall

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    Status: Active

    Club: Gloucester

    Mike Tindall was the only member of Woodward's starting XV not to complete the full 80 minutes of normal time in 2003 and remains playing to this day, becoming a staple in Gloucester's setup.

    The Cherry and Whites centre was wed to the daughter of the Princess Royal, Zara Phillips, in 2011 and has made five Premiership appearances for his club this season.

13. Will Greenwood

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Pundit, commentator, columnist and motivational speaker

    Will Greenwood's battle against Stirling Mortlock was one of the most intriguing of the 2003 Rugby World Cup final and the centre has since gone on to be one of the most successful English media figures since.

    Sky Sports and the Telegraph act as Greenwood's main employers these days, although he also provided ITV commentary during the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

    The 41-year-old is also one of the main coaches on Sky Sport's School of Hard Knocks programme, giving local communities the chance at some real rugby mentoring.

14. Jason Robinson

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Brand ambassador and ProSkins director

    On occasion, Jason Robinson can be seen giving match analysis, but it's merchandising where the speedster's work lies now as he acts as director for sportswear company ProSkins, who specialise in under armour and thermal products.  

15. Josh Lewsey

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: WRU Head of Rugby

    In August of this year, the Welsh Rugby Union announced through their official website that Josh Lewsey had been appointed their Head of Rugby, but it wasn't until late September that the ex-England international actually assumed his new position.

    Lewsey has held similar roles in Bristol and with the Cornish Pirates, but this latest venture represents a considerable set up in expectations.

16. Dorian West

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    David Rogers/Getty Images

    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Northampton Saints coach

    One of Woodward's four unused substitutes in the 2003 final, Dorian West called it quits on his international career after the World Cup victory and retired from the game entirely just a year later.

    Along with head coach Jim Mallinder, the ex-Leicester Tiger would then go on to join the coaching staff at Franklin's Gardens, helping Northampton Saints from relegation and back into the challenges of European rugby, where he remains to this day.

17. Jason Leonard

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Construction businessman

    Not all of those involved in the glory of 2003 have remained as intimately involved with the sport since retiring, a number among which Jason Leonard ranks.

    Since hanging his boots up in 2004, the prop has instead delved deeper into the construction industry and, as the attached video suggests, holds a senior position at The Construction Network (tCn).

18. Martin Corry

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Motivational speaker, coach and media figure

    Martin Corry enjoys getting his boots back on wherever possible, making numerous cameos in Barbarians and Legends matches since retiring in 2009.

    The Leicester Tiger legend may not have actually featured during the 2003 final, but evidently picked up a lot of tools along the way and often uses those as a dinner guest and motivational speaker these days.

19. Lewis Moody

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Motivational speaker, concussion campaigner and media figure

    One of the latest 2003 victors to retire from the game altogether was Lewis Moody, who after a long and successful career at Leicester enjoyed his twilight years with Bath.

    On his official website, Moody cites event speaking and media work as some of his current occupations. Another aspect of the ex-flanker's life now is his work to ensure concussions, of which he suffered many, are lessened as a rugby issue, per the Daily Mail's Sam Peters.

20. Kyran Bracken

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    David Rogers/Getty Images

    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: Public speaker and Dancing On Ice champion

    Kyran Bracken was another of the unused substitutes for Woodward in Sydney's final and the ex-scrum-half's post-playing career hasn't been as glitzy as others.

    However, not everyone can say they're a Dancing On Ice champion, Bracken having won the ITV show back in 2007.

21. Mike Catt

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    Status: Inactive

    Occupation: England attacking skills coach

    Mike Catt's expertise in cutting opposition defences apart has been translated to the coaching game since his retirement, the talent too much to waste in not passing it onto others.

    Stuart Lancaster currently has the ex-Leicester Tiger legend as his attacking skills coach, where he aims to give the nation's back line some impetus going forward.

22. Iain Balshaw

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    Status: Active

    Club: Biarritz

    Like Wilkinson, Iain Balshaw was one of the younger stars of Woodward's squad in 2003 and so has been fortunate enough in extending his playing career for another decade since.

    For four years now, the winger has enjoyed his rugby with Biarritz and although the Top 14 outfit is currently going through one of its worst campaigns in recent memory, Balshaw appears to be enjoying life in France.


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