Today marks the 15th anniversary of the nation’s only success at the global tournament, when Jonny Wilkinson’s iconic extra-time drop-goal secured the Red Rose victory over heartbroken hosts Australia in Sydney.
Leeds-born Robinson scored his battling side’s only try in the 38th minute, scampering over to help set up a 14-5 lead against the Wallabies.
The prolific former Wigan Warriors rugby league star – rated one of the greatest wingers of all time in either code – was renowned for his acceleration, footwork and ability to beat defenders with ease.
He scored stunning tries for England and Great Britain before switching to union with Sale Sharks in 2000 and went on to thrive at the elite level there, proving brilliant for the Red Rose and the British Lions.
On THAT try in the 2003 final, Robinson told The Yorkshire Post: “In terms of importance, it was the one.
“I scored in lots of big games during my career in both codes – Challenge Cup finals at Wembley, the first Super League Grand Final – which always come up once a year.
“That World Cup final one, though, people continually talk to me about it and, whichever way you look at it, it’s the ultimate achievement when you play sport - to win the World Cup.
“But in terms of the best ones I’ve scored it probably doesn’t get into the top 200, let alone top 100.
“It was just a case of catching the ball and running 20 metres.
“It’s not like I beat so many people or went the length of the field. I’ve scored many more far better.
“But in games like that – a World Cup final – you don’t get many chances and to be up against the likes of Mat Rogers and Wendall Sailor, ex-rugby league players, it was so special.”
Asked which of his countless tries was his favourite in terms of pure dazzle factor, the Yorkshireman struggles to pick one out.
Robinson, 44, admitted: “I can’t remember most of them!
“You have to go right back to ‘92 when I started at Wigan and it’s hard.
“It’s a lot easier now with social media and all the technology – you can just go straight in and pull it out – but from a game in 92-93 it’s not as simple.
“I’d have to get the VHS cassettes out! It’s a shame. I would like to be able to look back on them all.
“There’s been some good ones over the years – whether in that first Grand Final in ‘98, scoring for Wigan versus the Broncos in Brisbane in ‘94, the Challenge Cup final in ‘95 – but I’d love to watch them all back.”
For the full exclusive interview with Jason Robinson discussing England’s 2019 World Cup hopes, why they should have done everything to secure Shaun Edwards and his thoughts on Owen Farrell’s chances of one day playing rugby league, read Saturday’s The Yorkshire Post.
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