Jason Robinson’s remarkable admission about England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup win

Dylan Coetzee
England's Jason Robinson during the 2003 Rugby World Cup final.

England's Jason Robinson during the 2003 Rugby World Cup final.

Former wing and 2003 Rugby World Cup winner with England, Jason Robinson, admits that he has never rewatched the final.

20 years have passed since the Red Rose downed Eddie Jones’ Wallabies in their own backyard to claim the title thanks to a late Jonny Wilkinson drop-goal in extra time.

Robinson played a big role in the game, scoring England’s only try and one that quickly became iconic with images of him sliding in the corner typifying a great win.

Only seen clips

Interestingly, the great wing admitted that besides snippets of the game, he has not actually rewatched the entire final.

“I go to events and forever see the clips with me sliding in, Jonny’s kick and Johnno (Martin Johnson) lifting the trophy etc, but I’ve not watched the game,” Robinson told the PA news agency.

“All I’ve ever done is play a game and then it’s on to the next game, the next game, the next game. That’s how life has been. I’ve probably been conditioned not to get attached to any one game.

“Funnily enough my eight-year-old wants to watch the final so at some point I’m sure we’ll stick it on and watch it in full.

“Some games, you think they’re better than they are. And then you watch them and see that you weren’t that great! I might be seeing that in the 2003 game.”

The dual-code star achieved a great deal in his career beyond the World Cup triumph, including becoming England’s first black captain as well as notching up more than half a century of appearance for his country.

However, despite that, Robinson admitted winning the World Cup was the most life-changing of all his experiences as a player.

Impact on the sport in England

“It was hard for your life not to change. You come back and see the impact that it’s made on grassroots sport and the impact it had on fans,” he said.

“You’re going to Downing Street and Buckingham Palace and getting honours. You go somewhere and can’t buy a pint – everyone wants to buy you a drink – and you’re not paying for restaurant bills.

“We had an exposure that we’d never had before and we were being recognised far more than ever before.

“That was good because it gave rugby a massive boost because it was the first time we’d won anything since 1966. It was fantastic for us as players and we got lots of opportunities off the back of it.

“There are very few days when someone doesn’t come to me and say ‘I remember where I was when…’

“And they start to tell the stories of what it meant to them and what they did as a result of it. That just shows that even 20 years on it’s still had such an impact, it’s been huge.

“Because it’s the 20th anniversary, I’m seeing a lot more of the boys. We’re doing a lot of stuff together and that’s been brilliant.

“When you get back together and start to reminisce, you learn stuff from each other even after 20 years – things like how you felt. It was a special time. The camaraderie is still strong.

“We are that special group to have won the World Cup and we’ll always be the first ones to have done it from the northern hemisphere. Winning it is the ultimate.”

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