2003 Rugby World Cup Final

Last updated

2003 Rugby World Cup Final
NRL Grand Final 2006.JPG
Event 2003 Rugby World Cup
After extra time
Date22 November 2003
Venue Stadium Australia, Sydney
Referee André Watson (South Africa)

The 2003 Rugby World Cup Final was the final match in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and the fifth Rugby World Cup. The match was played between England and Australia on 22 November 2003 at Telstra Stadium in Sydney in front of a crowd of 82,957 people.


England won 2017 to win the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time, also becoming the first European side to win the cup. The scores were tied to 1414 at full time, and Jonny Wilkinson kicked a drop goal in the final minute of extra time to win the match. The final was the second to go to extra time.

The British television audience peaked at 15 million viewers, making it the most watched sports program of 2003; the worldwide television audience was 22 million people. [1]

Path to the final

Australia opened the 2003 Rugby World Cup at Stadium Australia in Sydney, where they beat Argentina 24–8. The next two pool games were against tier 2 nations Romania and Namibia. The match against Namibia resulted in a 142–0 victory. The last pool match was against Ireland at Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, where the Wallabies escaped with a one-point win, 17–16. They finished on top of their pool, with 18 table points and a massive for and against.

England were in Pool C, and kicked off their campaign with an 84–6 win over Georgia, which was then followed by a match against their biggest opposition in the pool, South Africa. However, England beat the Springboks 25–6. Their third pool match against Samoa was a lot closer, England winning 35–22. Their final pool match was against Uruguay, which England won 111–13. England finished first in their pool, four table points ahead of the Springboks.

Australia met Scotland in the quarter finals at Lang Park in Brisbane, and beat them 33–16 to go through to the semis, where they would take on their old rivals, the All Blacks. England beat Wales in their quarter final, 28–17, and went through to meet France in the semis. The Wallabies prevailed 22–10 over New Zealand at Stadium Australia. The following day England beat France 24–7 at the same venue.

Match summary

Kick-off was preceded by performances including Kate Ceberano singing True Colours (a theme throughout the World Cup), the Sydney's Children Choir and the Rugby World Choir singing the Rugby World Cup's official theme song, World in Union . The national anthems of Australia ( Advance Australia Fair ) and England ( God Save the Queen ) were then performed.

First half

The first points of the final were scored by Australia. In the sixth minute, Lote Tuqiri outjumped the much shorter Jason Robinson and scored a try, following a sensational cross field kick from Wallaby fly-half Stephen Larkham. The conversion unsuccessfully crashed against a post. Jonny Wilkinson kicked a penalty goal for England in the 11th minute, bringing the score to 5–3. A further penalty goal by Wilkinson in the 20th minute took England into the lead, 6–5. In the 28th minute, following a Wallabies infringement Wilkinson slotted a penalty to make it 9–5. Following a flowing attacking move involving English forwards and backs, Robinson slid into the corner for a try for England in the 38th minute. England led at half-time 14–5.

Second half

Flatley kicked a penalty goal for Australia in the 47th minute, after the England scrummage was penalized by referee Andre Watson, taking the score to 14–8. With England dominant in possession but lacking in finishing Wilkinson made 2 unsuccessful drop goal attempts. England's forwards were again penalized by Watson in the 61st minute, and Flatley kicked the penalty goal for Australia. England were again to suffer when Flatley kicked a penalty goal on the 80th minute, taking the score to 14-14, and the match headed into extra time.

Extra time

Wilkinson and Flatley both scored penalties to put the score at 17–17. England got the ball back after the ensuing restart from a Mat Rogers kick, then won the line-out and advanced deep into Australian territory after a Matt Dawson line break off a dummy. With 26 seconds on the clock, Wilkinson kicked a right-footed drop goal to give England their first ever Rugby World Cup 20–17.

Match details

22 November 2003
20:00 AEDT (UTC+11)
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg17–20 (a.e.t.)Flag of England.svg  England
Try: Tuqiri 6' m
Pen: Flatley 47', 61', 80', 97'
Report Try: Robinson 38' m
Pen: Wilkinson 11', 20', 28', 82'
Drop: Wilkinson 100'
Stadium Australia, Sydney
Attendance: 82,957 [4]
Referee: André Watson (South Africa)
Kit left arm australia99.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body australia99.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm australia99.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks goldtop.png
Kit socks long.svg
Kit left arm eng03h.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body eng03h.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm eng03h.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks whitetop.png
Kit socks long.svg
FB15 Mat Rogers
RW14 Wendell Sailor Sub off.svg 71'
OC13 Stirling Mortlock
IC12 Elton Flatley
LW11 Lote Tuqiri
FH10 Stephen Larkham Sub off.svg temp'
SH9 George Gregan (c)
N88 David Lyons Sub off.svg 57'
OF7 Phil Waugh
BF6 George Smith
RL5 Nathan Sharpe Sub off.svg 48'
LL4 Justin Harrison
TP3 Al Baxter
HK2 Brendan Cannon Sub off.svg 57 '
LP1 Bill Young Sub off.svg 92'
HK16 Jeremy Paul Sub on.svg 57'
PR17 Matt Dunning Sub on.svg 92'
LK18 David Giffin Sub on.svg 48'
N819 Matt Cockbain Sub on.svg 57'
SH20 Chris Whitaker
FH21 Matt Giteau Sub on.svg temp'
WG22 Joe Roff Sub on.svg 71'
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Eddie Jones
2003 Rugby World Cup final.svg
FB15 Josh Lewsey Sub off.svg 85'
RW14 Jason Robinson
OC12 Mike Tindall Sub off.svg 79'
IC [a] 13 Will Greenwood
LW11 Ben Cohen
FH10 Jonny Wilkinson
SH9 Matt Dawson
N88 Lawrence Dallaglio
OF7 Neil Back
BF6 Richard Hill Sub off.svg 93'
RL5 Ben Kay
LL4 Martin Johnson (c)
TP3 Phil Vickery Sub off.svg 86'
HK2 Steve Thompson
LP1 Trevor Woodman
HK16 Dorian West
PR17 Jason Leonard Sub on.svg 86'
LK18 Martin Corry
FL19 Lewis Moody Sub on.svg 93'
SH20 Kyran Bracken
FH21 Mike Catt Sub on.svg 79'
FB22 Iain Balshaw Sub on.svg 85'
Flag of England.svg Sir Clive Woodward

Touch judges:
Paddy O'Brien (New Zealand)
Paul Honiss (New Zealand)
Television match official:
Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Fourth official:
Joël Jutge (France)
Fifth official:
Alain Rolland (Ireland)


Team statistics
NationsTriesConversionsPenaltiesDropped GoalsScrumsYellow CardsRed Cards
Flag of England.svg  England 10411200
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 1040900

After the final

Celebrations in London. England world cup.jpg
Celebrations in London.

The English squad arrived at London's Heathrow Airport to a huge reception of English fans. Captain Martin Johnson, holding the trophy, was the first player to appear, which resulted in a celebration of singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot". Scrum-half Matt Dawson described the reception as "mind blowing" and hooker Steve Thompson said that "Walking through Heathrow was breathtaking". [5]

A national day of celebration was held on Monday, 8 December. Thousands of fans lined the streets of London to pay tribute to the World Cup victory, as the team paraded in open-top buses from Marble Arch to Trafalgar Square. Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, awarded the whole squad the freedom of Greater London. [6] The English squad then went on to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace, followed by a reception at Downing Street with then Prime Minister Tony Blair. [7]

In the subsequent New Year's Honours List, the entire English team and coaching staff was also either appointed to or promoted within the Order of the British Empire, with each man awarded at least an MBE. Jason Robinson, Wilkinson, Leonard, head assistant Andy Robinson and RFU chief executive Francis Baron were awarded OBEs, while Johnson was appointed a CBE and Woodward was knighted. [8]

See also


a. ^ Will Greenwood, for superstitious reasons, prefers to play wearing the number 13 shirt, even when selected to play inside centre.

Related Research Articles

Jonny Wilkinson Rugby player

Jonathan Peter Wilkinson, CBE is an English former rugby union player. A fly-half, he played for Newcastle Falcons and Toulon and represented England and the British and Irish Lions. He is particularly known for scoring the winning drop goal in the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final and is widely acknowledged as one of the best rugby union players of all time.

Australia national rugby union team

The Australia national rugby union team, nicknamed the Wallabies, is the representative national team in the sport of rugby union for the nation of Australia. The team first played at Sydney in 1899, winning their first test match against the touring British Isles team.

England national rugby union team Sportsteam in rugby union

The England national rugby union team represents England in men's international rugby union. They compete in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. England have won the championship on 29 occasions – winning the Grand Slam 13 times and the Triple Crown 26 times – making them the most successful outright winners in the tournament's history. As of 15 October 2020, England are ranked second in the world by the International Rugby Board. They are currently the only team from the Northern Hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup, having won the tournament in 2003, and have been runners-up on three other occasions.

Matt Burke Rugby player

Matthew Coleman Burke is an Australian former international rugby union player and sport presenter on Sydney's 10 News First.

Rugby World Cup records have been accumulating since the first Rugby World Cup tournament was held in 1987.

The Cook Cup is a rugby union trophy contested between Australia and England. The cup was established in 1997 when the Wallabies and England contracted to play each other bi-annually for a decade, playing matches on a home and away basis. Since the first two years the format has only been adhered to once. In most years, there is only one match and World Cup matches are not counted. The cup is named after Captain James Cook, representing a strong English–Australian connection. The cup, which was designed by Royal Doulton in London, is made from crystal.

The History of the England national rugby union team covers the period since 1871, when the England national rugby union team played Scotland in the first ever rugby union international.

The knockout stage of the 2007 Rugby World Cup began on 6 October with a quarter-final between Australia and England and concluded on 20 October with the final, at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, between England and South Africa, their second meeting in this tournament.

2007 Rugby World Cup Final

The 2007 Rugby World Cup Final was a rugby union match, played on Saturday, 20 October 2007 at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis, Paris, to determine the winner of the 2007 Rugby World Cup. South Africa beat England 15–6. Having also won the 1995 tournament, South Africa became the second country to win two World Cups, following Australia, who won in 1991 and 1999.

The rivalry between the England and Australia national rugby union teams started on 9 January 1909 at Blackheath's Rectory Field in England, during the 1908-09 Australia rugby union tour of Britain, dubbed the 1st Wallabies. The Wallabies won the match 9–3. The two nations next met in 1928, at Twickenham, during the 1927-28 Waratahs tour of the British Isles, France and Canada and England won 18–11. After the 1939-40 Australia rugby union tour of Britain and Ireland was cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II, twenty years passed before England and Australia next met, again at Twickenham, with Australia winning the 1948 test 11–0. It would then be another decade until the two nations played another test against one another. In 1958, they met again at Twickenham, and England won 9–6.

2019 Rugby World Cup ninth edition of the Rugby World Cup

The 2019 Rugby World Cup was the ninth edition of the Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's rugby union teams. It was hosted in Japan from 20 September to 2 November in 12 venues all across the country. The opening match was played at Ajinomoto Stadium in Chōfu, Tokyo, with the final match being held at International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama. This was the first time that the tournament had taken place in Asia and outside the traditional Tier 1 rugby nations.

Owen Farrell English professional rugby union player

Owen Andrew Farrell is an English professional rugby union player, currently playing for Championship side Saracens and is captain of the England National Team. Farrell has played international rugby for England since 2012.

United States at the Rugby World Cup

The United States has played in all but one Rugby World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987. The USA is the second strongest national rugby side in North America, and the third strongest in the Americas after Argentina and Canada.

The 1991 Rugby World Cup Final was the final match of the 1991 Rugby World Cup, the second edition of the rugby union competition, to decide the world champions. The match was played on 2 November 1991 at Twickenham Stadium, London, and was contested by the host nation England, and Australia. Australia won the match 12–6.

2003 Rugby World Cup 5th Rugby World Cup

The 2003 Rugby World Cup was the fifth Rugby World Cup and was won by England. Originally planned to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, all games were shifted to Australia following a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Union and Rugby World Cup Limited. The pre-event favourites were England, regarded by many at the time as the best team in the world. New Zealand, France, South Africa and defending champions Australia were also expected to make strong showings, with New Zealand being second favourites after victory in the southern-hemisphere Tri-Nations championship.

Bernard Foley Australian rugby player of Irish descent

Bernard Foley is an former Australian rugby player of Irish descent. He used to play professionally for the Australia national rugby team and the New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby. He can cover both fullback and fly-half. Foley has earned the nickname "the iceman" after successful game winning penalty goals, 2 August 2014, 18 October 2015.

2014 Heineken Cup Final

The 2014 Heineken Cup Final was the final match of the 2013–14 Heineken Cup, the 19th and final season of Europe's top club rugby union competition. The Heineken Cup was replaced by a new top-level competition, the European Rugby Champions Cup, effective in 2014–15. The match, between Toulon and Saracens, was played on 24 May 2014 in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, kicking off at 5 pm.

2015 Rugby World Cup Final

The 2015 Rugby World Cup Final was a rugby union match to determine the winner of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, played between reigning champions New Zealand and their rivals Australia on 31 October 2015 at Twickenham Stadium in London. New Zealand beat Australia 34–17, winning the World Cup for a record third time, and becoming the first team to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.

2019 Rugby World Cup Final Final 2019 Rugby World Cup match won by South Africa

The 2019 Rugby World Cup Final was a rugby union match played on 2 November 2019 at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan. It marked the culmination of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and was played between England and South Africa, a rematch of the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final.


  1. "RWC final tops TV viewing figures". ESPN. 16 December 2003. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. 2003 Rugby World Cup Final - Extended Highlights World Rugby on YouTube
  3. Jonny Wilkinson's memorable drop goal v Australia at RWC 2003 with comms! World Rugby on YouTube
  4. "England wins World Cup". Australia: ABC. Archived from the original on 21 April 2006. Retrieved 18 September 2006.
  5. "England rugby heroes arrive home". BBC. 25 November 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2006.
  6. "Rugby fans bring London to a standstill". The Guardian. 8 December 2003. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  7. "Rugby team meet the Queen and Tony Blair". London Evening Standard. LES. 9 December 2003. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  8. "Woodward leads England honours". BBC Sport. 31 December 2003. Retrieved 3 March 2016.