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Clive Woodward reveals post-World Cup final conversation with Eddie Jones in 2003

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On November 22 2003, Clive Woodward and his England squad wrote their names in the history books to become world champions in a match that will forever be regarded as one of the best finals the modern game has had to offer.

Woodward and his team, which included household names such as Martin Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Dawson, Mike Tindall and Jason Robinson beat Australia 20-17 in an epic final which went down to the wire. 

Australia, lead by coach Eddie Jones at the time, were undone at the last as Wilkinson's drop goal in extra-time took England to World Cup glory.

Fifteen years on, and Eddie Jones now leads England and the charge for next year's World Cup in Japan.

And Woodward has revealed the post-match conversation the two coaches had in the moments after the final whistle.

Writing in his column in the Daily Mail, Sir Clive admitted the current England boss handled the defeat very maturely.

"The graciousness of Eddie Jones and his Australian team in defeat was something I had not seen before from him. Eddie and I had been enjoying our normal banter in the build-up but for some reason I went straight to him on the final whistle.

England Rugby Train X

"No words were needed - it could have been a bit awkward as we were hardly best of friends then - we shook hands and he said: 'Well done, mate, congratulations, now get off and celebrate with your team, we're OK.'

"Deep down he knew the best team had won but he was hurting."

"George Gregan and all the Aussie team couldn't have been more complimentary afterwards. The reaction of the entire Aussie team in defeat was class."

Great to hear how gracious the Aussies were at the final whistle, especially considering just how England won at the death in such a tight game that swung both ways.

England Media Access

England have largely failed to kick on from the glory in Sydney 15 years ago, they did make the final in France four years later but have since failed, not even getting out of the pool stage in 2015.

Jones will be hoping his side can kick on from the Autumn internationals and head to Japan next year full of confidence, but he himself will know there is still plenty of work to do before they can think about winning the World Cup next year. 

Topics:
England Rugby
IRB Rugby World Cup
Australia Rugby
Rugby Union

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