Phil Vickery played rugby for England more than seventy times yet the reason for this feature and for most of the interviews he does is that he played in one particular game – the 2003 World Cup Final. He is one of that select group of England rugby players who are the only ones who can call themselves World Cup winners. Vickery has lived a full and successful life but people still want to take him back to one day 17 years ago.
Building a team
In June 1998 England were defeated 76-0 by Australia in Brisbane, 64-22 and 40-10 by New Zealand and 18-0 by South Africa. The idea that five years later England would win the World Cup seemed laughable. How on earth did the transition occur? ‘It’s a combination of a lot of things’ suggests Vickery. ‘1998 was Clive Woodward’s first tour as England coach. It was a very short tour: one test against Australia, two in New Zealand and finally South Africa. It was called the tour for from hell for a reason. It was blooming tough. It was my first ...
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