“I never dropped him” – Woodward ranks his five best England players - Ruck

“I never dropped him” – Woodward ranks his five best England players

Sir Clive Woodward has had the pleasure of working with some of the best players in world rugby during his England tenure.

After a tough start to life as England boss, the Rugby Football Union kept faith with him and Six Nations titles followed in 2000 and 2001 before he won a much-prized Grand Slam in 2003.

That was followed by success at Rugby World Cup 2003 in Australia with Jonny Wilkinson slotting a last-gasp drop goal to clinch a 20-17 victory over the defending champions and tournament hosts. He was knighted in the 2004 New Year’s honours.

Here, the 65-year-old ranks the five ‘best’ players from his World Cup-winning side.

#5. Jason Robinson

  • Born July 30, 1974, Leeds
  • Major teams British and Irish Lions, Sale Sharks, England
  • Position Fullback

Known as Billy Whizz, this former rugby league star proved a hugely successful convert to Union. Throughout his career Robinson was noted for his speed and acceleration, side-step and ability to beat defenders.

A lethal runner from full-back or wing, he was a nightmare to mark in one-on-one situations. Had a knack of scoring memorable tries on the big stage.

WOODWARD SAID: “He was a sponge and soaked up every single rugby union skill. By the end he was probably the best kicker out of hand we had, he laid the ball back at rucks perfectly and his tackle technique was perfect. What a player.”