(In order of position)
Josh Lewsey (full back)
Already an England player while active in the military, some thought Lewsey - who turnd professional after two years as an officer - may return to service after retiring in 2009. Instead he attempted to climb Everest although that failed after his breathing apparatus malfunctioned 500 feet from the summit. He then turned his hand to financial services, working for PricewaterhouseCoopers and then CitiGroup. But he couldn’t turn his back on the sport and returned to rugby this year, initially as acting CEO of Cornish Pirates and now as the Head of Rugby for the Welsh Rugby Union (Lewsey is half Welsh).
Jason Robinson (winger)
Cross-code wing star Robinson scored England’s only try in that final. After his first retirement in 2007, he worked as a coach with the RFL and Sale Sharks, tried out sheep farming, and briefly returned to playing with a local side. His most recent project of note is a range of clothing for high-performance sports apparel company ‘Proskins’.
Will Greenwood (inside centre)
Greenwood retired in 2006, but is arguably more prominent nowadays as a media pundit. He writes a newspaper column, works as a TV analyst, appears in advertising campaigns and on the after-dinner circuit. But he is probably best known now for presenting the ‘School of Hard Knocks’, a Sky Sports programme based around the RFU’s social inclusion projects in deprived areas.
Mike Tindall (outside centre)
Probably more famous with the general public for his marriage to Princess Zara Phillips, Tindall is still playing for Gloucester while coaching youngsters. He even trotted out for the Barbarians last season, although his England career ended soon after the shambolic 2011 World Cup, when he was fined £15,000 for throwing a dwarf in a bar.
Ben Cohen (winger)
Before retiring two years ago, Cohen had already created the ‘Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation’, a charity dedicated to raising awareness about bullying. One of the main focuses of the foundation is combating homophobic abuse, which has led to the 6’2” Cohen becoming something of a gay icon. Pictured here on the cover of gay magazine 'Attitude', having been named 'ally of the year', an award given to heterosexuals working to combat anti-LGBT prejudice. He is currently starring in ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
The superstar of that team, and the kicker of the winning points, ‘Wilko's’ career was almost immediately finished after it transpired his shoulder and knee had been left in tatters. After a couple of years in and out of the treatment room, he was back playing regularly for Newcastle. But his career underwent a huge resurgence when he moved to France with Toulon in 2009. The warmer climate and different style of rugby have seen his fitness return, and – now 34 – he is arguably in the form of his life, leading Toulon to Heineken Cup glory and earning an ERC European Player of the Year award in the process. Chapeau, as they say down there.
Probably the most prominent of the XV due to his career as a TV host and pundit, Dawson can mostly be seen as a team captain on the ‘Question of Sport’ quiz show. He also appears on reality TV shows with alarming regularity and – like many sportspeople – has impressed on Strictly Come Dancing, although he does still pop up as a rugby pundit on the likes of BT. A lover of fine food, part of his working life involves culinary TV shows, while additionally he is president of a children’s medical charity called ‘Sparks’, and is involved in countless other good causes.
Dallaglio was one of the finest exponents of back row rugby of his generation, equally comfortable as a blindside or openside flanker, as at the no.8, which is where he played for England in the final. He expressed an interest in coaching after retiring in 2008, but appears to be enjoying his media work with the likes of BT. Like Dawson, he does a lot for charity, including Help For Heroes, through his own foundation, which raises money for a variety of causes and is currently using rugby to help disadvantaged youth.
Neil Back (openside flanker)
Back moved into coaching after quitting playing in 2005, initially working for Leicester Tigers before becoming Head Coach at Leeds, where he stayed for three years until their relegation in 2011. A brief spell followed coaching lower league side Rugby Lions, before he returned to a higher level as forwards coach of Edinburgh in the Pro12. Is currently without a club.
Hill was never dropped by Clive Woodward, the only player to have been ever-present. The hard-tackling Saracens legend stopped playing five years ago and has since worked for the club as a business development manager and academy coach. He is no longer involved with the club
Ben Kay (lock)
Liverpudlian Kay spent his entire professional career at Leicester, retiring in 2010 at the age of 34. A ferocious, giant of a man, his public profile since has been relatively quiet, working as a commentator for ESPN and more recently BT. One of the lower-profile players in the squad, he has a dry sense of humour that includes the cheeky Twitter claim of scoring the winning drop-goal in 2003.
Martin Johnson (lock, captain)
England’s leader, their talismanic forward bruiser. ‘Johnno’ remains a man mountain, physically intimidating but softly-spoken, if a touch guarded. Named team manager of the England team in 2006 – two years after retiring from playing – he had no coaching experience and his three-year reign was disastrous. Poor performances on the pitch accompanied some strange selections and off-colour behaviour from his players, including the ‘dwarf-gate’ incident during the ill-fated 2011 World Cup. Now enjoying life, coaching youngsters and occasionally appearing as a pundit. Expect him to return to the big time once he has enough experience.
Devon cattle farmer Vickery retired from playing three years ago, aged 34, one of the first of the new era of players who spent their entire careers as professionals being forced to quit early due to injuries. Vickery initially stepped back from the game, winning 2011 Celebrity Masterchef and appearing as a TV pundit, but he has since returned as a coach with Worcester Warriors and is now working for the RFU. Launched a clothing range called ‘Raging Bull’.
Steve Thompson (hooker)
Due to the nature of the position, Thompson was always going to suffer neck and shoulder injuries and initially retired aged just 29 after a particularly bad landing during a 2007 Heineken Cup match. But he changed his mind six months later to convert his Brive coaching contract to a playing one, and carried on until 2011, even returning to the international fold before quitting for good soon afterwards. Thompson now works as a rugby pundit for various TV stations, and does brand ambassadorial work for various companies and charities. Understood to be based in Dubai.
Like Thompson, Woodman retired from rugby aged 29, but unlike his pal in the front row, he never returned, his back injury too serious from which to recover sufficiently. Woodman then moved into coaching, working in Australia and at Wasps, and currently offers his services as a specialist scrum consultant, helping teams adapt their game to the ever-changing laws.
Dorian West (hooker): Was coming to the end if his career that season, the former policeman stayed in rugby and works as a coach for Northampton Saints.
Jason Leonard (prop): Vice president of the RFU and set for the top job in a few years’ time.
Lewis Moody (flanker): ‘Mad dog’ retired last year and is believed to be focusing on a property company he runs with his wife.
Kyran Bracken (scrum-half): It was his birthday during the 2003 final, and so one would expect he is celebrating it today. Does all that Dancing on Ice nonsense, having won it in 2007.
Martin Corry (lock): A regular worker of the after-dinner and corporate motivational speaking circuit, among other business interests.
Mike Catt (fly-half): Moved into coaching and is now part of the England set-up.