20 years ago today, England made history to win their one and only Rugby World Cup to date. The image of Jonny Wilkinson slotting the winning drop goal has been immortalised for England fans, as Sir Clive Woodward’s men beat the Wallabies 20-17, in their own back-yard of Sydney.
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Two decades have since passed, with the heroes of yester-year going on a wide variety of post-rugby pathways. Some of the iconic squad turned to a career in coaching, whilst others pursued more left-field careers off the pitch. To celebrate 20 years since England lifted the Web Ellis trophy, we took a look at what the stars of the 2003 Rugby World Cup England squad are doing now.
Let’s take a look back on the starting England XV that took on Australia, and wrote their way into the history books.
15. Josh Lewsey
In 2005, Rugby World Cup winning fullback Josh Lewsey went back to university to complete a postgraduate diploma in Law. The fullback is also a founder of a consultancy, which specialises in leadership development within business. After spending many years outside of rugby, Lewsey returned to the sport in March of 2013, as Interim CEO of Championship club Cornish Pirates. Just five months later, the former England international had achieved the role of Head of Rugby at the Welsh Rugby Union.
Lewsey oversaw the growth of the WRU’s grassroots game, and established school-club hubs across the country. Lewsey resigned from the role in November 2015. Aside from his career on the pitch and in the boardroom, Lewsey has quite literally gone to great heights in his climbing hobby. Whilst still an active rugby player, Lewsey trekked up to the base camp of K2 in the Karakoram mountain range. In 2010, Lewsey was 500ft from the summit of Mount Everest when his breathing apparatus failed. Thankfully the former London Wasp was able to return safely in the 8,500m decent.
14. Jason Robinson
Robinson initially hung up his boots following a 2007 exhibition run out for the Barbarians at Twickenham, and soon pursued a career in coaching. The former Wigan Warriors man returned to Rugby League, and promptly found a role within a grass-roots set-up, as a dual code ambassador with shaving brand Gillette. Robinson then turned his coaching focus back to Rugby Union, and took up the role as Sale Sharks Head Coach for the 2009/10 Premiership season.
Just three years previously, Robinson had won the Premiership title with Sale Sharks. However, the side sunk with the ex-winger at the helm and ended their campaign one spot off the relegation zone. Sharks were spared the drop thanks to Worcester Warriors, and Robinson stepped down from the role. The former ‘Billy Whizz’ would then come out of retirement for an unexpected run out in National League 2. At 35-years-old, Robinson re-laced his boots to play for Fylde throughout the 2010/11 season, before officially ending his career at the close of the campaign.
13. Will Greenwood
Greenwood continued to shine on the international stage following the 2003 glory, and went on to represent the British & Irish Lions for their 2005 tour to New Zealand. He ended his career at Harlequins in 2006, and soon gave his experienced views through analysis and punditry. Greenwood co-hosted the ‘School of Hard Knocks’ TV series with former Wales international Scott Quinnell, and was an on-screen analyst for ITV as England reached the final of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Will has also explored opportunities away from rugby, and is the current Chief Customer Officer for data and software company Afiniti’s London office. Greenwood’s family was struck with tragedy, after his son Freddie died just 45 minutes after being born. The former England centre underwent an inspirational walk to the North Pole in memory of his son, and helped to raise over £750,000 for Borne’s research. Greenwood is a patron of Borne, who are a medical research charity that work with cases of premature birth. He is also a patron of Child Bereavement UK, which is a charity that support parents who have lost a child.
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