An England Legends side will take on an Australian Barbarians team, this year, as part of the RFU 10-year celebrations of their memorable 2003 World Cup win in Australia.
Few England fans will ever forget that 2003 World Cup lineout take from Lewis Moody; the break from Matt Dawson; Jonny Wilkinson nicely in the pocket; Ian Robertson’s commentary, ‘He drops for World Cup glory. It’s over. He’s done it.’ Fans can now relive the memories as members of the squad lace up their boots once more to face legends of the Australia team which they beat on that famous night in Sydney.
Jason Leonard, Martin Corry, Lewis Moody and Ben Cohen will be among the team taking on the Australian Barbarians at the Twickenham Stoop on Thursday, 31 October kicking off a weekend of celebrations to mark 10 years since England lifted the Webb Ellis Cup.
The full squad will reunite for the first time since 2003 at the official Anniversary Dinner at Battersea Evolution the following evening (Friday 1 November) before attention turns to the QBE Internationals when the current England team play Australia on Saturday 2 November at Twickenham Stadium.
The weekend honours the achievements of the Rugby World Cup winning squad and all proceeds from the Legends Match and Anniversary Dinner will go to rugby charities, the Rugby Football Union’s Injured Players Foundation (IPF) and the Rugby Players Association’s Restart.
England’s most capped player, Leonard said: "We are honoured that the Australian Barbarians are travelling half-way around the world to compete and help celebrate the 10 year anniversary of England winning the World Cup. We hope to raise valuable funds for the nominated rugby charities, put on an entertaining display of Legends rugby and have fun with old friends and team mates in the process."
Leonard will be joined by fellow forwards Martin Corry, Lewis Moody and Mark Regan and supported by a strong back line including Josh Lewsey, Ben Cohen, Andy Gomarsall and Austin Healey. Individual and team rivalries will be renewed when Matt Cockbain, Al Baxter, Chris Whitaker, Richard Harry and Tim Horan take to the pitch. Each side will contain up to eight World Cup legends and further exciting announcements will be made over the coming months.
Australian Barbarians Coach, Mike Doyle said: "We have been overwhelmed by the interest of the former Wallaby players that we have contacted to be part of this incredible journey to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the wonderful World Cup victory by England in 2003.
"We, as Australian Barbarians, have a proud history and to be given a chance to redeem the loss is a huge motivation for us. We would like to thank Andy Lee and Jason Leonard for creating this great opportunity to raise money for our rugby charities and also travel to England to revisit so many lifetime friendships. We all wish it was tomorrow," Doyle added.
Andy Lee, said: "I am really excited to be bringing the Australian Barbarians over to play the England Legends as part of the official RFU celebrations of winning the Rugby World Cup 10 years ago. Interest in this particular Legends match has been huge and we are hoping to have a sell-out at the Twickenham Stoop that night."