Watch England leave it late to take the Webb Ellis Cup (10.00)

Overwhelming favourites New Zealand and England, who had arrived in Australia having won the Grand Slam and victories over the All Blacks and Wallabies on home soil, both topped their groups as the pool stages played out largely as expected. England suffered a scare against Samoa when the Pacific Islanders took an early lead, but were clinical against South Africa, their toughest opponent in the pool, to avoid facing New Zealand in the quarter-finals. However the gap between the 'big eight' nations and those considered as rugby's developing countries gradually narrowed.

Martin Johnson

While it will be remembered as a tournament won by Wilkinson's boot, it was Martin Johnson, England's talismanic captain, who guided them all the way to victory. A lock forward who commanded enormous respect from team-mates and opponents, Johnson was the brains and brawn as well as the calm, experienced head among a team packed with talent and leaders.

Player Matches Points
JP Wilkinson (Eng) 6 113
F Michalak (Fra) 6 103
EJ Flatley (Aus) 6 100
LR MacDonald (NZ) 7 75

Jonny Wilkinson

It can only be Jonny Wilkinson's match-winning drop goal to secure England's first World Cup. After Mike Catt's burst upfield, Dawson dummied and darted forward to take England to within 15 metres of Australia's line. Neil Back and Johnson combined to gain England more ground, Dawson fired the ball to his fly-half who calmly finished off the Wallabies.

Player Matches Tries
DC Howlett (NZ) 7 7
JM Muliaina (NZ) 7 7
JT Rokocoko (NZ) 5 6
WJH Greenwood (Eng) 6 5
ESPN Scrum

Host nations Australia
Dates October 10 - November 22
No of nations 20 (80 qualifying)
Champions England
Runners-up Australia
Matches played 48