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Premiership Rugby

Where are they now – England, 1998

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

But before that second Test, their tour began with a 76-0 pasting by Australia, followed by a huge loss to the New Zealand Maori and then the successive Test losses to the All Blacks, 64-22 in Dunedin, and 40-10 in Auckland.

Woodward's side had more stop en route to the United Kingdom, a one-off Test against Nick Mallett's Bok side, which they promptly lost by 18-0.

Many pundits and fans had a go at Woodward for throwing his boys to the southern hemisphere wolves, but as England return to New Zealand for the first time since 1998 (they have since been back to Australia and South Africa), they loom as a serious threat to the Kiwis.

The last time New Zealand hosted England was on June 27, 1998 – ever wondered what happened to the 22 English players that took part in that Test in Auckland?

Well, we did, and we also took the trouble to find out just where those 22 players are today …

15 – Matt Perry: England's most-capped fullback is way down the pecking order at present, with club-mate Iain Balshaw, Tim Stimpson, Jason Robinson and Josh Lewsey all ahead of him in England's fullback queue. Still a Bath regular.

14 – Austin Healey: Leicester's Jack-of-all-trades has battled with an Achilles injury all season long, limiting his Test and club appearances in 2002/03. When fit, however, he is an automatic member of Woodward's match-day 22. His last Test appearance came against the Springboks in November 2002.

13 – Nick Beal: The Northampton stalwart never quite settled in the England side, despite winning 15 caps in a three-year spell. He played his last Test against South Africa in the 1999 World Cup quarter-finals. He is still a key man for Saints.

12 – Jos Baxendell: He played in two of England's four Tests in their 'Tour from Hell' and has not been seen in an England jumper since then. A regular in the No.10 for the Sharks this season – after injury claimed Charlie Hodgson – he must be awaiting Braam van Straaten's move to Manchester with some trepidation.

11 – Tom Beim: Another 'one-tour' wonder, Beim – a former international polo player – played in both Tests against New Zealand. Still a member of Gloucester's first team squad, the 27-year-old faces stiff competition from young guns James Simpson-Daniel and Marcel Garvey.

10 – Josh Lewsey: The former soldier made his debut on the 1998 tour, playing in a variety of positions, only to find himself relegated to the sidelines for a while. He returned to the Test side during this year's Six Nations, making an impact from the fullback position. He will line up at fullback on Saturday.

9 – Matt Dawson: England's captain on the '98 tour, Dawson pulled out of Saturday's Test with a thigh injury. He will be a key man for Woodward at the World Cup, having now amassed 50 caps.

8 – Tony Diprose: Despite winning 10 caps between 1997 and 1998, the NEC Harlequins veteran has not featured for his country since England's last match on their disastrous tour against South Africa in Cape Town. Still a key man for Quins.

7 – Pat Sanderson: Sanderson is still just 25 years old, but has recently been overtaken in the England pecking-order by his younger brother Alex. Last capped on their Americas tour in 2001 – when England were without their Lions stars – he is a bit-part member of England's Sevens squad.

6 – Ben Clarke: The Bath stalwart won the last of his 40 caps against Australia in June 1999. He ended his playing career with Division One outfit Worcester.

5 – Dave Sims: Like many of his squad members, the full extent of Sims's Test career came on that 1998 tour, playing in three Tests. The former Bedford Blues, Gloucester and Worcester lock currently plays for Division One club Exeter Chiefs.

4 – Rob Fidler: Fidler played in two of England's four Tests on the '98 tour, replacing the disgraced Danny Grewcock (he was red-carded in the first Test) in the second Test against the Kiwis. Still a regular at Kingsholm. He recently announced that he would be moving from Gloucester to Bath.

3 – Phil Vickery: England's premier tighthead – and one of their many experienced leaders – for the past few seasons, injury has disrupted his 2002/03 season. Expect him to get some game time on Saturday and pressurise Leonard for the No.3 jumper come the World Cup.

2 – Richard Cockerill: Not exactly Clive Woodward's biggest pal, the former Leicester stalwart has been out of the international frame since the '99 World Cup after criticising the England coach in his autobiography 'In your Face'.

1 – Graham Rowntree: The Leicester veteran finds himself in exactly the same spot as last time. Injury gave him his chance during the Six Nations – with Leonard moving to the tighthead side – but he has certainly shown his worth at loosehead.

Replacements:

Phil Greening (hooker): England Sevens regular, currently on tour with England 'A' in Canada. Has not played a Test since the foot-and-mouth delayed 2001 Six Nations.

Will Green (prop): Last played for England in a pre-World Cup friendly in 1999, still a key man for Wasps.

Steve Ojomoh (loose forward): An England squad member for four years, winning 12 caps, the of which came in the first Test against New Zealand. Went to Parma in Italy before signing a short-term contract with Welsh club Newport.

Ben Sturnham (loose forward): Spent the 2002/03 season playing for recently relegated Bristol Shoguns. Played in the three Tests in Australasia, missing the SA encounter at Newlands.

Scott Benton (scrum-half): Did not get on the park against the Kiwis, winning his sole cap a few weeks earlier in the 76-0 thrashing at the hands of Australia. Still an active member of Leeds Tykes' squad.

Steve Ravenscroft (centre): Last played for England in 1998, currently playing for London Welsh in Division One.

Tim Stimpson (fullback): Still a Leicester mainstay, Stimpson has won the odd England cap when called upon in times of need. He has played 19 Tests – the last coming against South Africa in November 2002.

The starting line-ups:

New Zealand: 15 Christian Cullen, 14 Jeff Wilson, 13 Caleb Ralph, 12 Mark Mayerhofler, 11 Jonah Lomu, 10 Andrew Mehrtens, 9 Ofisa Tonu'u, 8 Taine Randell (captain), 7 Josh Kronfeld, 6 Todd Blackadder, 5 Ian Jones, 4 Robin Brooke, 3 Olo Brown, 2 Anton Oliver, 1 Craig Dowd.

England: 15 Matt Perry, 14 Austin Healey, 13 Nick Beal, 12 Jos Baxendell, 11 Tom Beim, 10 Josh Lewsey, 9 Matt Dawson (captain), 8 Tony Diprose, 7 Pat Sanderson, 6 Ben Clarke, 5 Dave Sims, 4 Rob Fidler, 3 Phil Vickery, 2 Richard Cockerill, 1 Graham Rowntree.

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