England's best player at every Rugby World Cup: 1987-2015 - Ruck

England’s best player at every Rugby World Cup: 1987-2015

England has endured a varied history in the Rugby World Cup, having triumphed in 2003 but having lost two finals, 1991 and 2007, while also experiencing the humiliation of being knocked out in the pool when they hosted the tournament in 2015.

In those 28 years, nevertheless, there have plenty of standout performers in every position on the park, although some years will definitely be easier than others to pick out one starring individual.

Starting with 1987, RUCK.co.uk Editor-In-Chief Steven Smith picks out the player whose performances most caught our attention from every edition of the competition.


England’s best player at every Rugby World Cup:

1987: Mike Harrison

The England winger captained the team at the tournament and scored five tries in three pool games to help the men in white finish second in the pool. However, England went onto lose to Wales in the quarter-finals, thought by some to have been the worst match of the tournament.

1991: Mick Skinner

‘The Munch’ made just four appearances in the 1991 tournament, but one moment alone will live long in the memory. With the quarter-final against France in Paris delicately poised at 10-10, Les Bleus had a scrum 5m out and looked set to score as Marc Cecillon picked up the ball and headed to the line. Skinner, though, now only hit Cecillon hard, but he picked up the France No.8 and drove him back, allowing England to turn over possession.

1995: Rob Andrew

In the quarter final in Cape Town between England and Australia, the flyhalf kicked this winning drop-goal to secure the victory for the English. It knocked the previous World Champion Wallabies out of the tournament, and resulted in a 25-22 win.