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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 March, 2003, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Can England win the World Cup?
Lawrence Dallaglio, England's first try scorer

England complete an impressive 42-6 victory over Ireland to win rugby's Six Nations Grand Slam.

Tries from Lawrence Dallaglio, Mike Tindall, Will Greenwood and Dan Luger together with some expert kicking from Jonny Wilkinson saw the visitors live up to their number one ranking.

Ireland took a sixth-minute lead through a David Humphreys drop-goal but looked back all the way after Dallaglio's try put England ahead just two minutes later.

With autumn's Rugby World Cup looming, have England got what it takes to finally become world champions?

And could this England side prove to be the best ever?


This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.

What can I say? England thoroughly deserved to win today, congratulations. Although I have to say I am proud of how Ireland played in the first half. Well done lads!

Can England win the World Cup? Well, I don't think Ireland can, so come on England!

We should all get behind the home nations, and hope they all do well. And if Ireland can't do it, I'll be cheering for England - it's about time a Northern Hemisphere team won.
Ceara, Ireland

OK - a Celtic acknowledgement of England superiority. They were a huge force today, and if they get the lineout perfect, like the rest of their game, I don't see anyone touching them, including the S Hemisphere.

They showed an attacking passion which matched their impeccable defence, and they are so strong and have such a depth in the squad that no-one can live with them right now.

It sticks in the throat, but hey, you can't argue with the evidence - well done guys!
Tim Black, Scotland

A highly impressive second half performance from the whole team. As for the World Cup, wouldn't an Aussie thrashing in their own backyard be so sweet? And now genuinely possible.
Paul White, Banterworth,UK

We ended a dismal Grand Slam we a flourish which was greatly called for. It has filled not only the team with confidence, but also the fans.

We can go into the World Cup with the feeling we are no.1 in the world, and will hopefully be able to prove it.
Emma London, England

This was by far England's toughest grand slam game decider, of which we've had a few over the past 4 years, and not even the ref was going to deny them a magnificent victory.

Australia, New Zealand and England can all beat each other on their day, so the World Cup is going to be an interesting spectacle.
Peter Brown, U.K

There's no doubt that England CAN win the World Cup, but let's not get carried away. There's a long time between now and October. Let's enjoy this, and then look to the autumn.
Allister Webb, England

An England win, despite not playing to their full potential, look out the loudmouth Aussies, and New Zealand, we're coming for you!!!
Mark, ENGLAND

Shouldn't the question be reframed to? Is the World Cup good enough to be won by England? At the moment, the men in white look absolutely unstoppable.

Congratulations to them after their emphatic win in Dublin and best wishes for the World Cup. Watch out rest of the world, if you can.
Siddharth Kanjilal, Mumbai, India

Superb display by the lads, but fortress Twickenham is not the venue for the world cup, we will need to prove that our No.1 world status is justified, & I think that will be extremely difficult against the Aussies & All Blacks in there own backyard
Scott Wilson, Eng(Living in Germany)

Shame our footballers can't show the same level of passion and commitment as the England (and Ireland) sides did today.
Simon Ramskill, England

Superb game 1st half great end to end stuff from both teams with the English defence unbreakable. 2nd half totally different with the most dominating display seen in recent games. lets now go to RWC and show the rest of the world how to play
Ian, Leeds, England

Australia and New Zealand will show the way. Australia will win the World Cup and need to build a new trophy cabinet, with the All Blacks in a close second.
Aussie, Aust & NZ (living in UK)

The myth that England can only win at Twickenham has been well and truly dispelled
Joe Oliver, England

Maybe, just maybe. For a team, that both freezes in the big occasion, and can't play away from home, England were terrific, without reaching the highs of the autumn internationals.

Throughout this Six Nations, they have improved with every match, and if they can take this kind of form with them to Australia, then I would say that they have every chance of winning. I'd still make the All Blacks slight favourites, but there's not a lot in it.
Steve Burnley, England

The myth that England can only win at Twickenham has been well and truly dispelled. England absolutely annihilated the second best team in the northern hemisphere.

This wasn't a close, hard fought battle won by "the boot". This was a complete team performance.

The forwards were England's rock, but the backs were full of invention, our passing was crisp and Ireland were made to look as ordinary as Wales.
Joe Oliver, England

Can England win the World Cup? For now, who cares! I'm just going to celebrate our deserved Grand Slam. We were magnificent today and easily outclassing the Irish. Was that arrogant? Probably not as arrogant as some of the claims that Ireland would send us packing. The cheek of it!
Paul Cromwell, England

It is amazing how graceless the Celts can be. England have a very good side and have a chance to win the World Cup. South Africa have not given any indication that have what it takes to beat England in Perth. However my money would be on New Zealand.
Jonathan Michaud, England

I only hope this win doesn't increase English arrogance too much
Richard M, N. Ireland

There's a distinct lack of Irish and Scottish comments here, which is funny because it was quite different beforehand......
Donald, England

Great game but we have got to sort out the line out if we are going to win the World Cup. And did anyone get the penalty count? We seem to give quite a lot away.
Mike, England

I have to admit that a very good Irish side were made to look very poor by an awesome English performance and I would like to congratulate the English on winning the Grand Slam.

I think England and Ireland will have a great World Cup I only hope this win doesn't increase English arrogance too much.

Ireland may be a great side but you will have to beat much better opposition in their own backyard if you want to win the World Cup and I personally think you won't do that. Don't let this victory give you too much confidence because you will be in for a shock once the World Cup starts.
Richard M, N. Ireland

What an exceptional performance by England - the forwards and Jonny W in particular. The English team have steadily got better as the Six Nations has gone on and this game has finally underlined their current status as the best team in the world.

The World Cup is, however, a long way off and a lot can change between now and the autumn. England have as good a chance on this form, but then so do at least three other teams!
Mike, England

Although we're disappointed, this has still been Ireland's best Six Nations campaign so far
Darragh, Ireland

What a wonderful performance! The boys played so well and showed true class today. Ireland played very well in the first half too, but I feel a tense England v NZ/Australia cup final coming...!!
Chris H, England

Clive Woodward deserves a pat on the back as well. England deserve this win, they deserve the Grand Slam and all the doubters out there can carp on and say what they like, they will deserve to win the World Cup to put alongside the HK 7's trophy they have just won as well. A good weekend's work all round.

Now if the football and cricket teams could buck up .........
David, Qatar

Credit where credit is due - England were the better side and thoroughly deserved their win.

Although we're disappointed, this has still been Ireland's best Six Nations campaign so far. And maybe this year, the southern hemisphere's domination of the RWC will come to an end?
Darragh, Ireland

Fantastic game and the right result! I could hug every last sweaty one of them!!
Linda, England

For the rest of us (Scotland and Wales in particular), we need to start believing that we can achieve
Sarah, Scotland

In the build-up to the World Cup, England are peaking at the right time. Defeat in Dublin would have been disastrous to English hopes, but thankfully that's not the case. What a performance. Bring on the World Cup!
Jeremy Bragg, England

Finally we finish off a Grand Slam and in style, also probably only in foruth gear.

Ireland are a very good team, I honestly hope their time comes and they have a good showing in the RWC, that goes for all the home nations.

Celts - credit where it's due, after all the English bashing let's hear from you!
Andy, Englishman in Scotland

A superb result by a superb team. France by contrast have never looked convincing this year. Can England win in Australia? If they play as they did today against the Irish, yes.
Thomas Cussans, France

Well done England - a comprehensive win and yes, I think that that team can go all the way and win the RWC.

For the rest of us (Scotland and Wales in particular), we need to start believing that we can achieve, and start working towards the high standards that England are setting - it seems to be working for Ireland so let's do it!
Sarah, Scotland

If we play as well as we've just played no-one will beat us
name here
Well done England for a truly memorable win at Lansdowne Road. Hard luck on the Celtic critics who have not been able to accept England's superiority with good grace.
Joe Harrison, England

Rule Britannia! Can't wait for November, bring it on
James, England

This well deserved victory has shown why England is the best team in the world, even without the numerous points tally of Johnny Wilkinson. Well done England. Six of the best trousers down!
Steve F, England

It'll be tough to beat the Australians in Aussie land but if we play as well as we've just played no-one will beat us. What an amazing game!
Ben, England

England will win as long as they stay focused and avoid injuries
Matthew Johnson, USA/UK

What a brilliant game! I have never seen England play more convincingly - beautiful to watch. Congratulations to ALL.
Lady Mary Tovey, England

With this batch of players, England can and deserves to win the World Cup. However, it needs to be remembered that England have not beaten the Southern Hemisphere giants (with the exception of South Africa) Down Under for too long.

It's brilliant that England are supreme at 'Fortress Twickenham' but facing Australia in Australia could and should be harder.

Good luck to the boys, as I really hope that they can do it. It's just that part of me has this sneaking suspicion that winning Down Under may well prove to be too much for them.
James Child, England

If England beat South Africa in the group match to win the group, then England will be in the opposite half of the draw to South Africa, Australia & New Zealand. Anything is possible. Come on England!
Adam Nicholson, England

England will win as long as they stay focused and avoid injuries.
Matthew Johnson, USA/UK

England's chances of success rest on our performances in the southern hemisphere
Max, England

What a result. I don't think even the most "arrogant" England fan would have predicted that. Despite the score line I thought Ireland played well, their backs looked sharp and their forwards solid.

As for the World Cup even a pessimist would predict us winning our group and getting through to the quarters. That leaves France then probably Australia and New Zealand if we made the final.

England's chances of success rest on our performances in the southern hemisphere in the up and coming Test matches and the home and away ties against France. Hopefully England can emulate South Africa and take a long unbeaten run into the World Cup, and bring the William Webb Ellis trophy to the home of rugby.
Max, England

The score says it all. Like Paul (below) I've been reading this board for weeks and have been fed up with the 'England bashing' that seemed prevalent. When it really counted, England delivered.

As for the World Cup, who knows? But they've got as good a chance as any.
Nick, England

England certainly have the ability to win the RWC but do we have the strength to hold onto our discipline on the field - today we did!
John W, UK

Considering we have just beaten a classy Irish side so convincingly, I'd say we have a really good chance for the WC this time. But we have to win a lot of games to get that far, and the competition from the southern hemisphere is going to be a lot tougher than the home nations.
Richard N, England

This is the best England side ever
Carl, England

I think that England and Ireland had a good game, Ireland put up a good defence, but I am pleased to see England win after everything that has been said by others hoping that we lost. I think that this game just proved them wrong.
Helen, England

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! I hope this performance goes some way to silencing the endless critics of the England team. They have stuttered in the past, even in this tournament, but they have always done what is necessary to win and today it was in emphatic style. Get our team motivated and they could turn over any in the world. Bring on the World Cup!
Geoff, England

Coming into the game with Ireland I was dubious about England's ability to win when it really mattered. After the defeat of Ireland, I can safely say that England have a real chance of winning the World Cup.

This is the best England side ever and let's not forget the likes of Vickery, Hodgson, Healey and Moody who are out injured, there's still a lot of strength in depth. My only concern is if Jonny Wilkinson gets injured along the way, with no real replacement to deputise.
Carl, England

Well done to the boys on clinching the Six Nations trophy and that elusive Grand Slam. Having watched as it slipped through their fingers each year, it was great to finally see them lift the title.

Finally, with all the hype surrounding the expensive and distinctly average football team that this nation possesses, maybe the press will devote a little more positive coverage to a team and sport that can lift the nation's heart and make us proud to be English.

Roll on the World Cup!
Justin Greaves, England

Well, well, I've been reading this board for weeks counting the number of times 'the arrogant English' were going to be sent packing by Ireland, and each time I have bitten my tongue when writing for fear of being labelled as an arrogant Englishman.

I see massive disappointment later this year in the World Cup
Jos Joslyn, England

Well, no more. Ireland got pasted - for the second time in two years - and weren't in it. O'Driscoll great as he is, was nowhere and froze when it really counted. Only Murphy (whose career was launched in England!) shone for Ireland.

This doesn't mean England will win the World Cup (my money's on New Zealand for that) but right now England are the best team in the northern hemisphere and the 30 plus point winning margin has just made me a lot richer.
Paul, England

Well done England, not the result I and all the Celts around the world would have hoped for, but you won well today. My fear for you is that this "glory period" will not last.

You have a forward dominated game - not a true 15-man game - if your forwards are off song the team is. And then all you have to rely on is the "the boot".

It is true you have some impressive three-quarters but they are not as dynamic as many others in the game globally, and rely too heavily on your forward game.

So I see massive disappointment later this year in the World Cup, where your forwards will tire very quickly, and your game will fall apart.
Jos Joslyn, England

Thank you to both teams for the best match of the Six Nations
Ade, England

Predictably all the bleating by the Celts came to nought; looks like you couldn't cut the mustard... See you at the World Cup for another beating.
Dan, England

Although Ireland have some good players like Murphy, they lack in team spirit, have a lack of all-round quality and don't have enough passion.

I would like to take this opportunity to say to all Irish and Northern Irish students over in the UK: "Eat your words! Seriously, well done boys - you were mint!
Scott Jamieson, England

What a magic game! And at the risk of being labelled another arrogant Englishman - a magic result! Thank you to both teams for the best match of the Six Nations.
Ade, England

Is this English arrogance or pure skill and knowledge that they are the best team in the world? They have confirmed their number one ranking with an emphatic win against Ireland at "Fortress Lansdowne". And to cap it all this was the first time that a team has won away from home in a final match Grand Slam decider.

Well done England, hard luck Ireland, you're a class side but the best team won today.
Chris Appleyard, USA (Ex UK)





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