"Still bitter" - The 5 players Woodward cut from his 2003 World Cup squad - Ruck

“Still bitter” – The 5 players Woodward cut from his 2003 World Cup squad

The dreaded call sign flashed up on the mobile phones (if they had them in 2003) of five England players in 2003 as they were the final players cut from Sir Clive Woodward’s 2003 Rugby World Cup squad.

The tournament began with host nation Australia defeating Argentina 24–8 at Stadium Australia in Sydney. Australia went on to defeat New Zealand 22–10 in the semi-final, to play England in the final.

Along with a try to Jason Robinson, Jonny Wilkinson kicked four penalties and then a drop-goal in extra time to win the game 20–17 for England, who became the first northern hemisphere team to win the Webb Ellis Cup.

Here, we remember the unlucky group of players who missed out on England’s triumph down under, although some did join the squad later.

1. Austin Healey

The versatile joined the squad in Australia as injury cover, however he was never officially added to the squad after players recovered from knocks, meaning he was unable to pick up a medal for the success despite flying out. No wonder he’s still bitter about it.

Where is he now? Working as pundit/co-commentator for BT Sport’s excellent rugby coverage


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