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World Cup 2003 by Team England: The official account of England's World cup triumph

Release date: 04th December, 2003
Publisher: Orion

List Price: £16.99
Our Price: £8.49
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In England, it's a cold Saturday morning towards the end of November, yet an estimated 12 million people are glued to television screens watching England do battle with Australia in front of a capacity crowd at the Telstra Stadium for the right to be called Rugby World Champions. In Sydney, the rain beats down, there are 100 minutes on the clock, extra time has all but expired and the score remains level; players are physically exhausted.

England mount one last attack. Martin Johnson drives the ball forward for the umpteenth time. Then Matt Dawson plucks the ball from the ruck and delivers it to Jonny Wilkinson.

Momentarily, time stands still. Rugby's left footed wonder boy clutches the ball and draws back his right foot - a nation holds its collective breath, perched on the edge of its collective seat - as Jonny drops the ball groundwards and cracks it towards the Australian posts. It's not the cleanest of strikes. The ball wavers in the night air. It's going in the right direction, only slowly. English jaws drop in anticipation and eyes widen before a roar is heard throughout the land.

The ball sails through the posts and the most memorable result in English rugby history is sealed. England are world champions.

Team England Rugby's World Cup 2003: The Official Account of England's World Cup Triumph is the story of the momentous achievements of Clive Woodward's squad. The book will be devoured not just by rugby fans but by the millions 'converted' to the game during the autumn of 2003.

The book starts with England's Grand Slam triumph, covers the pre-World Cup games against Wales and France and sets the scene for the trip Down Under with the announcement of the England squad. Match-by-match accounts follow of the opening pool games including the hard won victories against South Africa and Samoa, the punishing quarter final against Wales and the accomplished semi final win over France.

All England fans wanted to beat Australia in Sydney and here is the official account of the night when Martin Johnson rallied his troops for one final effort. The book benefits from an array of first-person accounts from Johnson, Wilkinson, Jason Robinson and Will Greenwood as well as Clive Woodward.

The book's photography is absolutely superb, each image sending a tingle down the spine, but this is not an illustrated guide, the story told here will be cherished by English sports fans everywhere.

Two of the book's quotes sum up the English never-say-die attitude: Lawrence Dallaglio said before the game against the Springboks, "South Africa are the most physical of the sides we face. I've always found it a very enjoyable fixture." Then the fasted hooker in town Steve Thompson summed up his and his colleague's approach to work, "All three of us in the front row really treasure the scrum as a good attacking weaponÖThe way we look at every scrum is like it's a special occasion."

The special occasion celebrated here is England's World Cup victory.

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