It is 15 years ago this week – if you needed any reminding – since Martin Johnson lifted the Rugby World Cup and with every passing year, and every passing tournament, the attachment to 2003 gets stronger.
The Tig needs no excuse to turn back the clock and revel in England’s only World Cup win. Johnno, Jonny and the rest have no doubt relived the moment a thousand times and the rest of us will never tire of hearing about it or watching it.
“Martin Johnson has it. He drives. There’s 35 seconds to go…”
The BBC commentary is etched in legend.
”It’s coming back for Jonny Wilkinson”
“He drops for World Cup glory”
Even thinking about it now, The Tig gets the shivers.
Having seven Tigers in the squad and another as the mastermind coach has merely served to tighten our own attachment to that day.
Johnson, Kay, Back, Moody, Corry, West and White, their names are now part of legend.
Simultaneously, the event seems both a long time ago and a blink of an eye away, especially those closing moments.
Lewis Moody in the lineout, Matt Dawson and Johnson in possession, Jonny’s kick, his little skip in celebration, the details are still there.
And, moments later, the relief of the final whistle, followed by the wild celebrations and Johnno lifting the trophy to confirm England’s place on top of the world.
Just thinking about it turns up the corners of your mouth 15 years on.
English football fans are 52 years and counting since their global triumph, but surely rugby will not take as long for a repeat? Whatever, nothing will take the gloss away from that day in November 2003. Cheers lads!