England 2017 vs 2003 World Cup winners combined XV

After World Cup winner Jason Robinson said none of England’s current stars would make his 2003 side, Rugby Correspondent CHRIS FOY picks his best XV from the two eras.

After World Cup winner Jason Robinson said none of England’s current stars would make his 2003 side, Rugby Correspondent CHRIS FOY picks his best XV from the two eras.

 

Full back: Josh Lewsey

A dangerous runner and finisher, but also supremely fit and a hard tackler. Edges out Mike Brown.

Right wing: Jason Robinson

A cross-code superstar. One day Anthony Watson may reach such heights, but not yet.

Cross-code superstar Jason Robinson (centre) made the best XV on the right wing

Cross-code superstar Jason Robinson (centre) made the best XV on the right wing

Outside centre: Will Greenwood

Jonathan Joseph is an asset in attack and defence but Greenwood was a canny, creative force for so long.

Inside centre: Owen Farrell

A world-class asset destined to become an all-time so ahead of Mike Tindall and Mike Catt.

Left wing: Ben Cohen

Prolific during England’s dominant era and the likes of Elliot Daly and Jonny May are still developing as international wide-men.

Goal-kicking machine Jonny Wilkinson was the perfect choice at half-fly in the best XV

Goal-kicking machine Jonny Wilkinson was the perfect choice at half-fly in the best XV

Fly-half: Jonny Wilkinson

A record-breaking icon for so long, a goal-kicking machine and defensive mould-breaker. George Ford has such a lot to follow.

Scrum-half: Matt Dawson

A close call. Ben Youngs has a better win ratio so more of his recent consistency and he will deserve this place.

Loosehead: Mako Vunipola

Has improved his set-piece work and has the handling class of a back so preferred to Trevor Woodman.

Hooker: Dylan Hartley

Another tight call. The current captain has led a stunning revival. Steve Thompson was a colossus but faded in his later years.

England lock Maro Itoje is one of the few world class players in Eddie Jones' side

England lock Maro Itoje is one of the few world class players in Eddie Jones' side

Tighthead: Phil Vickery

Not much in this one either. Vickery was a mainstay of the World Cup-winning pack, but Dan Cole runs him close.

Lock: Martin Johnson

No arguments. The master and commander of England’s best team. Tough, uncompromising and authoritative.

Lock: Maro Itoje

He is shaping up as a modern great, who has already seized countless top awards, so he edges out Ben Kay.

Blindside: Richard Hill

Still the man that all back-rowers aspire to be. He was the grafting fulcrum of an imperious England pack for years.

Openside: Neil Back

A shrewd breakdown exponent and attacking link-man. Sam Underhill and Tom Curry have early potential, for now.

No 8: Lawrence Dallaglio

Another of the great icons. A leader and powerful forward. Billy Vunipola is world-class, but not yet Dallaglio-class.