15 Rugby Speakers from England’s 2003 World Cup Winning Team You Can Book
Flashing back to the 22nd of November 2003, the nation held its collective breath as Jonny Wilkinson CBE scored the now-famous drop-goal that clinched victory 20 -17 over Australia. Though the Australian fans were understandably disappointed, having narrowly missed out on a home win, the England side's cheers of jubilation resonated across the country.
Here at the Champions Speakers agency, our roster of rugby speakers includes several members of the 2003 Australia Rugby World Cup-winning team. Look back at what the squad have been up to since the history-defining victory, and why you should book them for your event, below.
SIR CLIVE WOODWARD
The man who masterminded the incredible victory, Sir Clive Woodward continued to coach England for another year after the World Cup before moving on to do the same with the British and Irish Lions in 2005. This was his last coaching position, but he has held other profile roles in sport - including becoming Performance Director at Premier League football team, Southampton and then Elite Performance Director at the British Olympic Association.
This position saw him have an integral role in London winning the 2012 Olympic bid. Most recently he has worked as an excellent after dinner speaker, giving talks at some of the country’s most prestigious venues. This includes our very own speaker showcase on the topic of mental resilience, at the Gherkin in London.
"It was a great pleasure to meet Sir Clive, and his presentation was incredibly well-received. His presentation was aligned perfectly with the day, while also being very engaging and entertaining. It was the key highlight of our meeting; excellent feedback was received all around. Please extend our thanks to Sir Clive once again."
- Vivid Medical Communications
MARTIN JOHNSON CBE
Leader. Captain. Legend. All words used to describe the man who captained England to the 2003 win. A one-club man after spending more than 15 years with Leicester Tigers, in 2008 he was appointed Head Coach of England, a position in which he won the Six Nations title.
Since then, Martin Johnson has worked as a pundit and rugby speaker. In 2018, he headlined Champions (UK) plc’s annual rugby dinner, where Martin Johnson CBE entertained audiences with his thrilling first-hand account of the World Cup.
TREVOR WOODMAN MBE
Making 22 appearances for England, Trevor Woodman MBE’s finest hour for the red rose came during the World Cup final. Unfortunately, he later had to retire from rugby at the age of 29, due to a neck injury he sustained in 2005. As well as his international career he also played for Gloucester and Sale Sharks. Since retirement, he has dabbled in both punditry and coaching.
Moving to Australia, Trevor worked as a rugby commentator for Fox Sports and a coach at Sydney University. He then moved back to England, working as a forward’s coach, first for Wasps and then his old team, Gloucester. Aside from such hands-on roles, Trevor is also a popular speaker, presenting his take on mental resilience and teamwork at events.
STEVE THOMPSON MBE
Once England’s most capped hooker, Steve Thompson MBE racked up 73 appearances for England over eleven years. His playing days came to an end after a neck injury in 2011, participating in only one game for new club Wasps. He also played for Northampton Saints, French side Brive and Leeds Carnegie in the domestic game.
Since retiring, Steve has relocated to Dubai, where he is an ambassador for the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation which supports at-risk children all over the world. Having enjoyed such a successful career, Steve is the perfect rugby speaker to discuss the winning mindset and the power of high-performance teamwork.
PHIL VICKERY MBE
Another former World Cup winner who had to take early retirement due to injury, Phil Vickery MBE earned 73 England caps and played for Gloucester and Wasps. Phil has worked as a coach for Worcester Warriors and starred on Celebrity MasterChef, which he won in 2011.
A popular face in the media, Phil has the sporting prowess and natural confidence to entertain audiences at events, as his thrilling anecdotes transport them back to the 2003 World Cup victory. Woven into his speeches are actionable strategies for peak performance and teamwork, essential for corporate audiences.
"Very personable – and great during the awards.”
BEN KAY MBE
A hero both on and off the pitch, Ben Kay MBE was famously caught up in Evesham's floods in 2007, where he contributed to the rescue efforts there. Spending his entire club career at Leicester Tigers, he made 62 appearances for England, as one of just four men to play in both the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cup Finals.
Ben is a favourite in the media as a pundit for ESPN and BT Sport, while on the speaking circuit he is highly regarded for his likeability and insight into optimum performance. Audiences gravitate towards Ben's relatability and hard-working nature, leaving a transformative impression.
"Please pass our thanks on to Ben - his presentation has had some great feedback. A lot of customers have commented on how thought-provoking and insightful it was. It’s been really good working with you too."
RICHARD HILL MBE
Unfortunately dogged by a chronic knee problem that forced him into early retirement in 2008, Richard Hill MBE his permanent limp brought his rugby career to a sudden halt. He played over 250 times for Saracens and is regarded as a legend of the club.
Now, he can be found mentoring the club’s younger players and is a trustee of the Saracens Sports Foundation which supports vulnerable children. When booked for events, Richard supplies a toolbox of strategies for overcoming adversity in life, including the power of perseverance and the essential need to adapt to challenges.
NEIL BACK MBE
Another member of the Leicester Tigers golden generation that won countless trophies, including two Heineken Cups, Neil Back MBE scored a record number of tries as a forward for the club.
His outstanding form continued through to the international stage, where he played 66 times for England. Since retiring, he worked as a defensive coach with Leicester Tigers before going on to be a head coach at Leeds Carnegie, Rugby Lions and Edinburgh Rugby.
Neil later took to the speaking circuit, where he is now exclusively represented by Champions Speakers. We thoroughly enjoy working with Neil and are regularly blown away by his confidence and charm on stage.
"Neil joined England Rugby Travel for the opening game of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations Championship in Paris. We had never worked with Neil before but his attitude, application, fun and humour around clients was excellent. He mixed insightful knowledge and understanding with the ability to be at ease around fans and it greatly added to the experience. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Neil or work with him again in the future."
- England Rugby Travel
LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO MBE
One of England’s most decorated players, Lawrence Dallaglio MBE won three Six Nations titles as well as the World Cup with his country. Spending his entire club career with Wasps, he won five Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups with the team.
Now, he has a wide range of commitments. He is a key member of ITV’s rugby coverage, has launched his own charity foundation which conducts numerous fundraising activities and has even released his own pasta sauce brand in a nod to his Italian heritage.
Lawrence's charm shines on stage when he is booked for events, making him a popular speaker amongst clients - his relaxed yet exciting presenting style perfectly encapsulates the thrill of England's 2003 win.
MATT DAWSON MBE
Arguably one of the squad’s most recognisable members, Matt Dawson MBE has gone on to carve a successful media career for himself. As well as appearing on the likes of Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity MasterChef, he has been a team captain on the long-standing quiz show A Question of Sport since 2004.
On the rugby pitch, he played for Northampton Saints and Wasps as well as made 77 appearances for England. Matt is the ideal speaker for events, as his popularity combines with his valuable insight to ensure a truly special experience for audiences.
“I would have no hesitation in recommending him to any of our customers and the members of the Manchester PA Network where I am an active member. He was a fabulous speaker, he really engaged with the audience and his speech on Leadership & teamwork was brilliant.”
- Guenther Bakeries
JONNY WILKINSON CBE
The hero who scored the drop-goal that secured England's World Cup success, Jonny Wilkinson CBE is the nation’s record points scorer. Between 1998 and 2011, he scored over 1,000 points for England and played for Newcastle Falcons and French team Toulon.
Since retiring, he has worked as a rugby pundit on television and as a renowned rugby speaker. His speaking engagements focus on managing the stresses he experienced as a player, and the mental resilience Jonny employed to overcome personal and professional challenges.
BEN COHEN MBE
Like Matt Dawson, Ben Cohen MBE is another former World Cup winner who has entered the world of celebrity media. In recent years, he has appeared on the likes of Strictly Come Dancing, The Jump and And They’re Off!, a testament to Ben's popularity. During his career, Ben played for Northampton, Brive and Sale Sharks, before making 57 appearances for England.
A clinically deaf athlete, he has created his own foundation, and at speaking events regularly discusses the challenges he has faced due to his condition. Ben leaves a resounding impact on audiences at events.
"From my point of view, Ben was fantastic – he was prompt, polite and a great speaker."
- McDonald Butler
WILL GREENWOOD MBE
Controlling the middle of the pitch, Will Greenwood MBE was a key player in England’s victory. Overall, he played 55 times for England and represented Leicester Tigers in between two spells with Harlequins. One of many players who has gone on to become a rugby pundit, he has worked for SKY, ITV and even written his own column for The Daily Telegraph.
Alongside this, he has also co-founded his own travel business. Considering his varied career, Will is the ideal speaker for a wealth of events, from corporate galas and industry exhibitions to public functions.
“The event was a great success and we have received excellent feedback from our attendees. We could not have achieved our objectives without your considered time, knowledge and input both before and during the event.”
MIKE TINDALL MBE
Famous for his broken nose and fierce style of play, Mike Tindall MBE represented Bath and Gloucester during a career that spanned 17 years. Playing 75 times for England, he was highly regarded for his determination and sheer grit, which secured England the 2003 victory.
Mike has also been a celebrity ambassador for several companies, starred on such television programmes as Bear Grylls: Mission Survive, and is a popular after dinner rugby speaker. Audiences are captivated by Mike's experience of international competing and staying focused under pressure.
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your support in the build-up to our Audience with Mike Tindall event last night. The event was a huge success and Mike was excellent. It’s looking like we’ve raised over £2000 for our Cancer Fighting Fun appeal."
JOSH LEWSEY MBE
Before becoming a professional rugby star, Josh Lewsey MBE had a highly successful military career. Following this, he went to university before playing for Bristol, Wasps and England, with whom he won the World Cup. He also played for England in the sevens format of the game, most notably at The Commonwealth Games. After competing, he has taken up the role of rugby administrator for Cornish Pirates.
He later moved on to head up the Welsh Rugby Union, which saw him enforce a new strategy for the grass-roots game in Wales. Considering Josh's extensive career both on and off the pitch, he is the ideal speaker for events of all varieties, including corporate occasions and awards evenings.
BOOK A RUGBY PLAYER
If you would like to book any of our excellent rugby speakers for your next corporate event, function or conference, get in touch with Champions Speakers today. Call us on 0207 1010 553 our complete our online form.
Lewis Ray has been an After Dinner Sales Executive with us since the beginning of 2018. Having graduated with a BA (Hons) in Events Management from UCLAN, he spent time at Team Spirit Event Management before signing on the dotted line at Champions. H... Read more
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