England’s 1991 Rugby World Cup finalists: Where are they now?
We take a look at what happened to the 15 players following their narrow defeat against Australia in the 1991 Rugby World Cup final.
Beaten by the All Blacks in their opening game, Geoff Cooke’s side decided on a more pragmatic style which took them past France in a tumultuous quarter-final in Paris and Scotland in a semi reeking of revenge at Murrayfield. But it was a case of so near, yet so far in the Twickenham final against Australia after a change of tactics.
Here’s where the starting team is now:
FB 15 Jonathan Webb
Since retiring in 1993, Webb has developed a career in knee surgery and sports medicine, specialising in keyhole surgery and knee ligament reconstruction. In 1996 he undertook a year-long fellowship at the North Sydney Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Centre in Australia.
In 1999 he was named an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol. In 2011 Webb co-founded Fortius Clinic in London along with fellow surgeons Andy Williams and James D. F. Calder, where he practices as a consultant orthopaedic knee surgeon. In 2014 he became a patron of the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust.
RW 14 Simon Halliday
From 1981 to 1990, Halliday made a total of 170 appearances for Bath, including five successful Cup Finals. In 1990 he moved to Harlequins before retiring in 1992 because of long-term injuries. Halliday published the book City Centre in 2013, a book about rugby. It won the 2014 British Sports Book Awards in the “Rugby” category.
He’s currently the Chairman of European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) and is the co-owner of the Sporting Wine Club along with his business partner Chris Mariner.
IC 13 Will Carling (c)
In the run-up to the 1995 World Cup, after England returned to form with their third Grand Slam in five years, Carling famously described the Rugby Football Union general committee as “57 old farts” which led to his sacking as captain. He was however quickly reinstated due to public pressure and following a public apology was able to go to the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
They were however well beaten by New Zealand in the semi-final, largely thanks to four tries from Jonah Lomu. Although Carling himself scored two tries towards the end of that game, and set up two more for Rory Underwood, England lost 45-29.
After his rugby career ended he became a TV pundit on rugby union. He has also worked as a motivational speaker and in 2001 founded Will Carling Management Ltd, a corporate hospitality company. In October 2018, the former captain joined Eddie Jones staff as a mentor.