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Sir Clive Woodward believes that England’s Rugby World Cup finalists still do not stack up against his 2003 side despite recording their first ever tournament victory over New Zealand in japan earlier this year.
Eddie Jones’s side produced a stunning performance in October to dominate the All Blacks and secure a 19-7 victory over the reigning world champions, only to come unstuck against South Africa the following week in the final and fail to match what Woodward’s side achieved 16 years prior.
Having missed out on the Webb Ellis Cup, the current crop of players know they have not yet joined the highest echelon reserved for the 2003 side, which featured the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio and captain Martin Johnson.
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However, Johnson himself admitted that what he saw in this year’s semi-final between England and the All Blacks was the best performance that he’s witnessed from the national team, but drew short of comparing the two sides as he did not wish to put two sides from different generations up against each other.
His head coach in 2003 was Woodward, credited with being the brains behind English rugby’s rise to the top of the game, and he was happy to do so when asked about how the two teams played the game.
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