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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 November, 2003, 10:59 GMT
Wilkinson: Team spirit won World Cup
Jonny Wilkinson holds the Rugby World Cup
England Rugby World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson has spoken of the "huge feeling of togetherness" the players have felt since their famous victory over Australia on Saturday.

After the initial celebrations died down, the 24-year-old fly-half relived the moment when he clinched victory for England.

"It was an amazing feeling," said Wilkinson, who was named international player of the year at an official awards ceremony on Sunday.

"We were level score with 80 seconds to go. You know exactly what you want to happen in the next 80 seconds but it seems barely possible.

"Then all of a sudden you find yourself under the posts and the kick thankfully just crept over.

"Suddenly what was a minute and a half ago looking very ropey, and possibly heading for sudden death or drop goals, then looked very rosy for us.

"It was a massive team effort and a huge feeling of togetherness we had certainly for the rest of the evening and through today as well," added Wilkinson.

England coach Clive Woodward was named coach of the year and England team of the year at the IRB awards ceremony in Sydney.

Woodward reflected on his team's preparation for the big occasion.

We've got the winning habit and hopefully we can keep it
Martin Johnson

"We had a clear routine of how we'd get a drop-goal. It just went absolutely like clockwork. That's why you win these big games.

"Probably the most important thing was when Mike Catt kicked it over the stand to finish the game - that was the moment I remember most," he joked.

Captain Martin Johnson said the huge support England had received in the Telstra Stadium had helped spur them on to victory.

"It was a home game for Australia, albeit a World Cup final. They don't lose a lot of games in Sydney," he said.

"For us to have - certainly where we were - parity in the stadium in terms of colours and fans was unbelievable. We weren't alone. We had a huge amount of support."

Johnson added that the team had shaken off their tendency to choke in the big games.

"Maybe three or four years ago, we were losing close games. We were winning the majority but losing the occasional close one," he said.

"But the last two years we've mainly started to win them. We've got the winning habit and hopefully we can keep it."

Links to more Rugby World Cup stories


England centre Will Greenwood
"I think we'll start to realise what we've achieved when we get home"

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