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Friday, September 17, 1999 Published at 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK


England Player Profiles


Jonny Wilkinson


[ image: Jonny Wilkinson ]
The teenage sensation from the Newcastle Falcons is crucial to Englandís game plan and desire to play expansive rugby.

Extreme pressure will be placed on the 19 year-old shoulders of this fly-half, along with much of Englandís World Cup hopes.

He made his England debut in 1998 - the youngest cap for more than 70 years - after less than an hour of top class club rugby under his belt.

Wilkinson has since earned a reputation as one of the deadliest place kickers in the world.

Helped Newcastle take the Allied Dunbar title in 1998, but will have to take more responsibility and be prepared to run at the opposing back row in this World Cup.

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Matt Perry


[ image: Matt Perry ]
Many sides see the young Bath full back as one of England's weaknesses, such is his slight frame and mild-mannered looks.

But Perry is England's Clark Kent, able at will to turn into superman.

In reality Perry is as secure as any full-back under the high ball and superb at ensuring the ball is recycled on his own side.

Coming into the line he is growing with every game and will be a genuine try-scoring threat in the World Cup.

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Martin Johnson


[ image: Martin Johnson ]
The solid foundation of England's team, skipper Martin Johnson is one of the most experienced players in the squad, the only forward to play in all matches in the 1995 World Cup.

The Lions captain in 1997 he led Leicester to the Allied Dunbar Premiership in 1999.

One of the world's best line out jumpers he has worked hard on his play in the loose and ball in hand heís a hard man to stop at 6ft 6in and 18 stone.

Took over the captaincy when Lawrence Dallaglio stepped down in May.

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Lawrence Dallaglio


[ image: Lawrence Dallaglio ]
When Lawrence Dallaglio was embroiled in tabloid allegations England's World Cup chances almost took a fatal blow.

But now, after an RFU inquiry found him guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, the Wasps No.8 is back in the side - and with a point to prove.

Working superbly in the England back row with Richard Hill and Neil Back, Dallaglio is one of the most effective No 8s in the world, continually breaking the gain line and foraging, to good effect, in the loose.

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Richard Hill


[ image: Richard Hill ]
Richard Hill is the silent assassin of the England team.

He is England's unsung hero and the man who does so many of the hard yards out of the spotlight.

Spotted as a player of world class potential at Saracens by coach Francois Pienaar, he played for the Lions in 1997.

He had occupied the No.8 shirt for England, before settling on the flankerís role.

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Rugby World Cup 1999
†-† Schedule & Results
†-† League Tables
†-† Grounds