England since 2002: teams down the years

Whilst trawling through the archives for a suitable piece this week, we had a look at previous England against New Zealand previews, and in the process stumbled across the team announcements. As a separate piece, we thought it would be interesting to look at the progression of the England team from year to year in this fixture. So, starting in 2002, here are the England teams that have taken on New Zealand at Twickenham down the years – fair warning, there are some absolute shockers in there…

Jason Robinson; James Simpson-Daniel, Will Greenwood, Mike Tindall, Ben Cohen; Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Dawson; Lawrence Dallaglio, Richard Hill, Lewis Moody, Danny Grewcock, Martin Johnson (captain), Phil Vickery, Steve Thompson, Trevor Woodman.
Replacements: Regan, Leonard, Kay, Back, Healey, Johnston, Stimpson

England won 31-28

Josh Lewsey; Mark Cueto, Jamie Noon, Mike Tindall, Ben Cohen; Charlie Hodgson, Matt Dawson; Andrew Sheridan, Steve Thompson, Phil Vickery; Steve Borthwick, Danny Grewcock; Pat Sanderson, Lewis Moody, Martin Corry.
Replacements: M Stevens, L Mears, L Deacon, C Jones, H Ellis, O Barkley, M Van Gisbergen.

NZ won 23-19

Iain Balshaw; Paul Sackey, Jamie Noon, Anthony Allen, Ben Cohen; Charlie Hodgson, Shaun Perry; Andrew Sheridan, George Chuter, Julian White; Danny Grewcock, Ben Kay; Martin Corry (capt), Lewis Moody, Pat Sanderson.
Replacements: Mears, Turner, Jones, Lund, Richards, Goode, Van Gisbergen.

NZ won 41-20

Delon Armitage; Paul Sackey, Jamie Noon, Riki Flutey, Ugo Monye; Toby Flood, Danny Care; Tim Payne, Lee Mears, Phil Vickery, Steve Borthwick, Nick Kennedy, James Haskell, Michael Lipman, NickEaster.
Replacements: Hartley, Stevens, Croft, Rees, Ellis, Cipriani, Hipkiss

NZ won 32-6

Mark Cueto; Matt Banahan, Dan Hipkiss, Ayoola Erinle, Ugo Monye; Jonny Wilkinson, Paul Hodgson, Tim Payne, Dylan Hartley, Duncan Bell, Simon Shaw, Steve Borthwick, Joe Worsley, Lewis Moody, James Haskell
Replacements: Thompson, Wilson, Deacon, Croft, Care, Geraghty, Tait

NZ won 19-6

Ben Foden; Chris Ashton, Mike Tindall, Shontayne Hape, Mark Cueto; Toby Flood, Ben Youngs; Andrew Sheridan, Steve Thompson, Dan Cole; Courtney Lawes, Tom Palmer; Tom Croft, Lewis Moody, Nick Easter.
Replacements: Hartley, Wilson, Attwood, Fourie, Care, Hodgson, Armitage

NZ won 26-19

Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Manusamoa Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Mike Brown, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs, Alex Corbisiero, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Geoff Parling, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw, Ben Morgan
Replacements: Paice, Wilson, Vunipola, Lawes, Haskell, Care, Burns, Joseph

England won 38-21

Mike Brown, Chris Ashton, Joel Tomkins, Billy Twelvetrees, Ben Foden, Owen Farrell, Lee Dickson, Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw, Billy Vunipola
Replacements: Youngs, Mullan, Wilson, Parling, Morgan, Youngs, Flood, Goode

What do you make of those teams? Any you particularly like/hate the look of?

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

16 thoughts on “England since 2002: teams down the years

  1. A different player at 12 every year since RWC03 tells a story, and my favourite is the 2009 side.

    Can anyone name the 4 players that were sin-binned in 2008?

  2. I still have the cold sweats thinking about the 2006 vintage, with Perry/Hodgson at half back Noon/Allen (before he was good) in the centres and a well-past it Balshaw at FB.

  3. Was it just me that cringing reading the line ups between 06 and 09.

    At least things are looking better!

    Can we have the scorelines from all these previous matches? That could be interesting, although I’m pretty sure I can predict our results from 06-09 pretty easily…

      1. Cheers.

        Looking down the results, they pretty much coincide with my thoughts on the team. Gets worse post 03 for years, reaching its worse point on 09.

        Then slowly we are making good progress! I see this as a genuine reason to be optimistic!

        On a side note – how on earth did we reach the 07 RWC final?

  4. Forgot all about van Gisbergen. Never understood that.

    Those of you moaning about Alex Goode, should remind yourselves that things have been far worse.

    Of course, for balance, I would love to have had the playing career of any of them. Even Ayoola Erinle.

  5. Also enjoyed Shaun Perry at 9 in 2006, with Pete Richards on the bench…then in 2007, Andy Gomarsall was hauled out of the pub to spearhead England’s RWC campaign!

  6. Oh for the glory days of 2002. A back 3 of Robinson, JSD and Cohen!

    Poor JSD – the best player England never had

  7. This actually makes me weirdly optimistic- not for sat, but then we are playing the best team in the world, if not ever. Looking at the teams from last year and Saturday and we are starting to put together a half decent team. Certainly compared to ’09… Come tour to NZ and the World Cup if everyone is fit and in form (and we get our wings sorted) we should be able to challenge.

    Combine them and your picking a pack of corbs, Hartley/youngs, cole, 2 of launchbury/parling/lawes and a back row from wood/robshaw/croft and vunipola/Morgan, with youngs, Farrell/burns, 12t, Tuilagi, wade, yarde and brown/foden- looks fairly exciting! Thanks for putting a silver lining on Saturdays likely thrashing!

  8. Also it’s a bit rubbish that from 09 the only players in the 23 left to possibly challenge for today’s squad are croft, tait, Wilson and Hartley. Monye at an outside shot. It wasn’t that long ago…

  9. I was feeling ok and then I thought, why not check the NZ team from 2009 to compare:

    Muliaina, Guildford, C. Smith, Nonu, Sivivatu, Carter, Cowan, Woodcock, Hore, Franks, Thorn, Donnelly, Thomson, McCaw, Read.

    Ellis, Afoa, Boric, Kaino, de Malmanche, Donald, Ellison.

    Seems like they have a MUCH better succession plan.

  10. That 09 team was an absolute classic (in the non-traditional sense). Lancaster thinks he has a propping crisis, but this was the series where Rowntree had to scoop Paul Doran Jones from Div 1 as we had literally run out of props – Duncan Bell ffs!! Add to that the midfield, no full back (how times have changed) and a game plan built around Worsley’s defence (who then went off concussed after 5 minutes) – it was a bl00dy miracle we only lost by 2 scores.

    1. so fantastically spot on. I was at Twickenham for the Australia and Argentina tests that year and it’s a miracle we didn’t lose those games by huge margins as well. Particularly the Aussies.

      Erinle has to be *the* surprise England call-up of the last decade.

  11. An interesting read. Just looking at the centre partnerships in those England teams makes me feel more optimistic about Saturday. Even if we lose I’m just glad we haven’t got to watch Noon, Erilnle, Hipkiss and Hape again. Noon and Tindall???? Hape and Tindall???? Whoever thought these centre combos would be effective. You need one dependable defensive centre, and one at least mildly creative one, surely!!

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