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Last Updated: Monday, 24 November, 2003, 04:51 GMT
Rugby World Cup back pages
The enormity of England's achievement in becoming the first northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup is starting to sink in.

BACK PAGE HEADLINES
The Times: Champions
Daily Mail: We want a big parade
Daily Star: Scrum on home
Daily Express: We want more
The Guardian: England's victory: the inside story
Daily Mirror: Champions of the World
The Sun: After 37 years it's the gold one-two...
The Daily Telegraph: England's heroes keep their feet on the ground
The Independent: Woodward's England determined to build on World Cup glory
The British press shows no signs of boredom in its new love affair with rugby as Jonny Wilkinson and Martin Johnson appear on almost every front page.

The Guardian predicts "A month of celebrations" for England's homecoming heroes including a Downing Street reception, an audience with The Queen, a ticker-tape parade and even a public holiday.

Thousands of fans are expected to gather at Heathrow Airport for the team's return in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

And the paper contrasts Wilkinson's likely behaviour with Paul Gascoigne's on his return to England after the 1990 World Cup.

Gazza greeted his public wearing a pair of plastic breasts, but the paper confidently predict that Wilkinson will not repeat the trick.

The Daily Telegraph dampens the enthusiasm a tad with its belief that a victory parade could be in doubt because of security concerns.

The Daily Express expects England's so-called "Dad's Army" to stay together for next year's Six Nations with no retirements expected.

The Daily Mail leads with claims that coach Clive Woodward, who masterminded England's rise to glory, could be brought in to help inspire the nation's football team.

Woodward is said to have set up a meeting with FA chief executive Mark Palios on his return from Australia.

Under the headline "They're all heroes", The Sun dots its pages with messages of congratulations from the great and the good, next to pictures of the 15 players who started the final.

The likes of David Beckham, Tony Blair, the Queen and Sven-Goran Eriksson all offer their support, but the idea soon peters out as we are treated to Sir Elton John, Toby Anstis and Lisa Riley's verdicts.

And the sound of a barrel being scraped becomes almost deafening by the time we get to full-back Josh Lewsey (the number 15) and singer Craig David's view.

"They kept it real, they kept it British and they have bought home the World Cup."

Quite. The squad did, however, take Craig's advice and chilled on Sunday.

The Daily Mirror reports on England's well-earned "15-hour celebration bender", finally ending with several players getting a lift back to the hotel from obliging local police!





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