October 12 down the years
England get underway at 2003 World Cup
Matt Dawson slides in to score against Georgia
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England began their Rugby World Cup challenge by disposing of Georgia 84-6 at the Subiaco Oval in Perth. Twenty-five thousand fans watched Clive Woodward's men run 12 tries past the committed Georgians. Ben Cohen and Will Greenwood bagged braces, with Matt Dawson, Neil Back, Lawrence Dallaglio, Dan Luger, Mark Regan, Jason Robinson, Mike Tindall and Steve Thompson also chipping in. On the same day, Wales coach Steve Hansen gave his side "six or seven out of 10" for their opening 41-10 Pool win over Canada and Scotland were ragged and unconvincing in downing Japan 32-11.
Jeremy Guscott's long and illustrious Test career appeared to be over after Clive Woodward left the "Prince of Centres" out of the 22 to play Tonga at the Rugby World Cup. The England coach made no excuses about injury; rather he explained Guscott had, "just not been picked". Guscott eventually started the game following a rib injury to Phil de Glanville, scoring two tries and receiving a standing ovation from the Twickenham crowd in what did in fact prove to be his final Test match.
Feeble Wales crashed out of the Rugby World Cup, losing 38-3 to Australia in Cardiff. Wales won only two line-outs in the entire match and had only a penalty from fly-half Mark Ring to show for their efforts in front of 54,000 fans at the National Stadium. The Wallabies cruised to victory with two tries for fullback Marty Roebuck and others for David Campese, Tim Horan, Michael Lynagh and Peter Slattery.
Howard Levien, 22, equal leading points scorer for the All Blacks as a three-quarter in Australia earlier in the year, had a leg amputated below the knee in Dunedin Hospital after his motor-cycle was involved in a collision with a bus.
Former England captain Martin Corry was born in Birmingham. A faithful servant of Leicester Tigers at domestic level, Corry made his international debut against Argentina in 1997. A member of the England squad that won the 2003 Rugby World Cup, Corry took over the captaincy following the retirements of Martin Johnson and Lawrence Dallaglio. His reign was troubled as England slipped out of contention with the world's best and he was eventually replaced by prop Phil Vickery. He played his final Test in the 2007 Rugby World Cup final, having also played seven Tests for the British & Irish Lions between 2001 and 2005.
England skipper Steve Borthwick was born in Carlisle. Borthwick took a circuitous route to the captaincy and slipped in and out of the international setup until his appointment by Martin Johnson in 2008. Making his debut against France in 2001, Bortwick's commitment to Bath at club level led to a chance in warm-up games for the 2003 World Cup, but he missed the final cut. Four years later he finally played at a World Cup, but was limited to appearances in the group stages as England reached the final. Also in 2008 Borthwick joined the revolution at Premiership side Saracens.
Bath suffered a gut-wrenching last-gasp Heineken Cup defeat to Toulouse at the Stade Ernest Wallon. David Skrela's penalty in the final minute secured the points for the three-time champions after Bath had attempted to close out the game and conceded a turnover. They had earlier scored tries through Nick Abendanon and Michael Claassens.
West Wales beat Tonga 14-6 in a fierce, rugged match at St Helen's, Swansea.
New Zealand broke new ground playing their first ever representative match against Uruguay. The All Blacks won 64-3 in Montevideo in a non-cap match and are yet to face the Uruguayans in a full Test match.
No.8 Marcus Dods, later a very distinguished musician, cut an impressive figure playing for the Whites during their 17-5 win against the Colours in the seniors trial at Cambridge University.