Jump to main content
Five greatest England v Australia Test matches

Five greatest England v Australia Test matches

Jason Robinson celebrates scoring a try

Ahead of their clash this Saturday afternoon in the Autumn Nations Series at Twickenham, we take a look back at five of the greatest Test matches between England and Australia.

2003 World Cup final – England 20-17 Australia

You can’t have a list of greatest England versus Australia games without having the 2003 World Cup final on it.

The 2003 World Cup final was a battle between two rugby heavyweights.

The two finest Test teams in the world went head-to-head in the Wallabies backyard in front of a bumper 82,957 crowd in Sydney.

Australia struck first on six minutes through winger Lote Tuqiri, with England responding through three Jonny Wilkinson penalties to give them the lead after half an hour.

Then right before the break, a superbly flowing move saw Jason Robinson cross over out wide in the corner, giving Sir Clive Woodward’s men a commanding 14-5 lead at half-time.

However, Australia battled back, and three second-half penalties from centre Elton Flatley saw them draw level with England at 14-14 sending the game to extra-time.

Google Ad – 300×250

Wilkinson and Flatley traded penalties. But in the 100th minute of action, Wilkinson landed the final blow on Australia, delivering a deftly struck drop goal to give England their first ever and only men’s Rugby World Cup title.

Undoubtedly his, and England’s finest moment in Test match rugby.

1991 World Cup final – Australia 12-6 England

The 1991 World Cup final saw Australia pip England to glory on their own turf, with the Wallabies running out 12-6 winners in a closely fought contest at Twickenham.

At half-time, Australia led England 9-0 and managed to see out the game from there on out, with the hosts unable to find any way through the Wallabies’ defence.

It makes its way on to the list because it was Australia’s first Rugby World Cup title, which was made even more impressive by the fact they defeated England on home soil at Twickenham.

2010 Autumn Internationals – England 35-18 Australia

There’s one moment in particular that stands out in the 2010 Autumn International Test between England and Australia.
Namely, THAT Chris Ashton try.

Turning the ball over on their own try line after repelling wave after wave of pressure from the Wallabies, England sprung a counter attack that will go down as one of the greatest tries ever scored at Twickenham.

Following Geoff Parling’s turnover, quick hands from Ben Youngs and Courtney Lawes set winger Chris Ashton away down the right wing.

Blazing his way down the touchline, Ashton showed off his blistering pace by cutting infield to burn past Drew Mitchell to go over for an incredible score.

Chris Ashton scores a try

A try would almost certainly have pulled Australia back into the contest with the score sitting at 19-6 just after the break.

Instead, as a result of Ashton’s heroics, they found themselves trailing 26-6, with England going on to win the Test match 35-18.

So good was Ashton’s coast to coast score, it was also named the 2010 Try of the year by World Rugby.

2007 World Cup 1/4 final – England 12-10 Australia

For the second successive World Cup, Australia had their hopes dashed by England and Jonny Wilkinson in 2007.

It was safe to say that England had not started the 2007 World Cup campaign in the best of form.

A host of the 2003 contingent retired after the last World Cup, and England suffered a heavy 36-0 defeat to South Africa just weeks prior in the pool stages.

But against Australia, they fronted up, in a game that saw them cast in the role of underdogs.

Australia took the lead through a converted Lote Tuqiri try and a Stirling Mortlock penalty, while England mustered two Wilkinson penalties in response in the first-half.

However, the second half saw Wilkinson land two penalties to give them the lead, while Australia had no response to add to their half-time lead, sending England through to the semi-finals, defying all the odds.

2015 World Cup group stage – Australia 33-13 England

Perhaps one of the low points of English rugby, this game makes its way onto the list because of what it represented.

The 2015 World Cup was supposed to be a celebration of English rugby, what with them hosting the tournament and everything…

Instead, it turned into a nightmare. A last gasp defeat to Wales in the pool stages meant they had to beat Australia to progress to the next round.

Australia's Bernard Foley scores a try as EnglandÕs Chris Robshaw tries to tackle

However, an inspired display by fly-half Bernard Foley, who scored a whopping 28 points put England to the sword, dumping them out of their own World Cup.

Australia dismantled England and were comfortable winners on the day.

Previous Story Autumn Nations Series Week Two – Weekend In Numbers
Next Story Where to watch week three of the Autumn Nations Series

More News

Five greatest England v Australia Test matches

Schmidt named New Zealand attack coach

19 hours ago
Thomas Gallo Rugby Championship

Talking points as New Zealand and Argentina bounce back in...

14th Aug 2022
Five greatest England v Australia Test matches

Storming South Africa look to compound All Blacks’ misery in...

11th Aug 2022