Rugby World Cup
England at the Rugby World Cup
July 27, 2009
Martin Johnson led England to the World Cup in 2003 © Getty Images
England's successful bid for the 2015 Rugby World Cup will provide the next chapter in a history that has brought both unimaginable highs and crushing lows. They last hosted the tournament in 1991 and will be hoping for a better outcome 24 years later.
Check out England's history at the World Cup, from encounters with a raging Jonah Lomu to last-gasp drop-goals.
1987 - Australia & New Zealand
The inaugural World Cup was won by hosts New Zealand as England endured an ignominious exit at the hands of their old rivals Wales in the quarter-finals. John Devereux, Rob Jones and Gareth Roberts all crossed for tries in Wales' 16-3 victory on their way to their best ever World Cup finish of third.
1991 - England
The Webb Ellis Cup came home in 1991, where England made their way to the final at Twickenham. After classic encounters with France and Scotland in the quarter and semi-finals respectively, Will Carling's side fell at the final hurdle as Australia won 'Old Bill' for the first time.
Prop Tony Daly was the hero, his early try helping the Wallabies to a 12-6 victory.
1995 - South Africa
After knocking Australia out at the quarter-final stage thanks to Rob Andrew's steepling drop-goal, England proceeded to Newlands in Cape Town and were summarily bludgeoned into submission by one Jonah Lomu. The All Black winger ran in four tries, one straight over the top of England fullback Mike Catt, sending his side on their way to the final, which they lost to the hosts.
1999 - Wales
Having prospered thanks to a drop-goal in 1995, England were left wishing that it had been outlawed four years later. Their antagonist was Springbok fly-half Jannie de Beer, who slotted five drop-goals alongside five penalties and two conversions in a famous 34 point-haul. The Boks also scored tries through Pieter Rossouw and Joost van der Westhuizen before falling to eventual champions Australia - thanks to, you guessed it, a drop-goal from Stephen Larkham.
2003 - Australia
Martin Johnson's men conquered all before them in 2003, powering to the final before Jonny Wilkinson's famous drop-goal secured a 20-17 win over hosts Australia. In a classic encounter, Lote Tuqiri and Jason Robinson had traded tries before a swing of Wilkinson's boot brought the World Cup to England and ended the southern hemisphere dominance of the tournament.
2007 - France
Under the guidance of Brian Ashton, England bounced back from a 36-0 pool stage thrashing by South Africa to progress to the final after a famous quarter-final win over Australia and a surprise triumph over hosts France in the semi-final. Their opponents at the Stade de France were the Springboks, who were content to take it slow and steady. Percy Montgomery was the hero, scoring four penalties with another from Frans Steyn, to Jonny Wilkinson's two to bring the World Cup back to South Africa.
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