2003 Rugby World Cup team of the tournament, where are they now? - Ruck

2003 Rugby World Cup team of the tournament, where are they now?

With the 2019 Rugby World Cup slowly edging nearer, RUCK.co.uk has had a look back at the 2003 team of the tournament.

We’ve remembered why they were in the team but also had a look at what this XV are doing now 15 year’s on.

15: Mils Muliaina (New Zealand)

Why he was on the team?

The All Black runner may have missed out on a place in the final but he was, without doubt, the full-back of the tournament.

He ended as the leading try scorer – topping the tables with seven alongside team-mate Doug Howlett – and looked dangerous wherever he found himself in possession.

He scored one of the tries of the tournament against Tonga, as well as running four in against Canada, and looks set to be New Zealand’s long-term answer at number 15.

What is he doing now?

After winning 100 caps (three as captain) for the All Blacks, the fullback moved to Europe, playing for; Connacht and Zebre before ending his career in the USA with San Francisco Rush. He’s now working as a pundit back in New Zealand.

14: Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji)

Why he was on the team?

Seeing the Fijian flyer in action was strangely reminiscent of Jonah Lomu in his prime. The only caveat to Caucau’s World Cup appearance was that it was all too brief, as Fiji failed to qualify from the pool stages.

He was on fire from the very outset, sprinting in a 70-metre solo spectacular against France before being banned for two games for a punch on Olivier Magne.

Thankfully, Caucau returned for the final game against Scotland and was at his prolific best once more with a further two tries.

What is he doing now?

Following a career in France he left Agen in November 2014 and took up a contract with Army SC to play in the Sri Lankan Rugby League.

13: Stirling Mortlock (Australia)

Why he was on the team?

He was not even on the bench in Australia’s opening match of the tournament but finished the first semi-final as man of the match and was equally strong on the losing side in the final.

His return from shoulder surgery complete, he was in mesmeric form, constantly causing chaos in the All Blacks defence as well as running England ragged on occasions.

His try against New Zealand was just reward for his long road to fitness – and the victory over the All Blacks seemed apt following such a wonderful performance. Sadly for him, he couldn’t quite repeat it in the final.

What is he doing now?

Mortlock, who amassed 80 Test caps between 2000 and 2009, hung up his boots at the end of the 2012 Super Rugby season. He is now a founding Partner at Unio Advisors who look after peoples money.

12: Tony Marsh (France)

Why he was on the team?

Marsh’s return to form and fitness is even more impressive than Mortlock’s, having won his battle with testicular cancer just in time to earn his player in France’s World Cup squad.

It remained unclear whether he would be capable of the sort of form he had previously showed at international level but, if anything, he was better than ever.

Always looking to launch a fresh attack – even in the reasonably pointless third-place play-off – he ran his lines beautifully as well as putting in the big tackles when it really mattered.

What is he doing now?

Marsh played his last game for France in 2004 and his last game for Clermont came in the 2007 French Championship match against Stade Francais. He now works in strength and conditioning.

11: Lote Tuqiri (Australia)

Why he was on the team?

Tuqiri’s selection on the left wing was deemed a gamble not worth taking according to many of Australia’s critics.

But the former league star proved his doubters wrong and was in superb form, always looking exciting on the attack as well as enjoying a superb rapport with both Mat Rogers and Wendell Sailor.

His defence was also supreme and he saved a try when he forced Mils Muliaina to knock-on over the try line in the semi-final, before his try in the final when
he latched onto a Stephen Larkham up-and-under.

What is he doing now?

The cross-code star eventually returned to rugby league in 2010 following spells with Leicester Tigers and Leinster.

Tuqiri was then part of the South Sydney side who defeated the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30–6 in the 2014 NRL Grand Finalat ANZ Stadium.

He then hung up his boots and set up a marketing agency.


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