S may be wearier and a million fans will not throng the streets to laud the winners, but the 2003 Rugby World Cup re-run has still got England hero Jason Leonard excited.
Leonard, the Red Rose’s most capped player, is among the greats marking the 10th anniversary of that triumph by playing in the England v Australia Legends match on 31 October. The fixture at the Stoop is just two days before England meet the Wallabies in the first autumn international and, for Leonard, brings back good memories.
“My biggest surprise was coming home and doing the parade,” Leonard told City A.M. “In fact even when we landed, the police said they’d have to walk us out in smaller numbers because there were so many people in the airport. We said ‘you are joking’.
“It was four or five in the morning so we didn’t think anyone would be there, but we came through and the whole airport was rammed with England supporters. That was breathtaking.”
Joining Leonard for England are Martin Corry, Lewis Moody and Jason Robinson, while Stirling Mortlock is among the Aussies jetting in.
“This will never happen again,” he adds. “It’s bad enough trying to run around a field 10 years on, so there won’t be a 20-year reunion. It’s unique and will be a very special weekend.”
To buy tickets visit https://www.quins.co.uk and select “tickets”.
Heathrow Express, official partner of the England v Australia Legends match, is giving away a pair of tickets, entry to the post-match bar, a changing room tour, a photo with the captains and a signed shirt from each team. To enter and for full terms and conditions see: https://www.heathrowexpress.com/2003