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Six Nations: How England 2017 team match up with 2003 World Cup winners

England thrash Scotland to retain Six Nations title

Victory against Scotland on Saturday was a world record-equalling 18th in a row for the current England team, who were already on a longer winning streak than Sir Clive Woodward’s 2003 world champions – their best was 14.

Extending their run to 19 in Ireland next weekend would secure Eddie Jones’ side back-to-back Grand Slams, another feat beyond their legendary predecessors.

However, they will need to win a World Cup of their own to join the 2003 team in the pantheon of English sides.

Next Saturday, the current team do have the chance to do something that eluded Woodward’s side in 2001 when, having beaten Scotland by 40 points, they failed in their shot at a Grand Slam as they lost in Dublin.

They are not yet the finished article – and have some way to go to match the achievement of the World Cup winners – but how do they compare man to man to the greats of 2003?

15. Mike Brown v Josh Lewsey

Whereas Josh Lewsey could alternate between the two positions, Mike Brown is definitely a full-back, not a winger.

He is the classic high-ball warrior, relishing the aerial battle that is such a big part of the modern game. Ireland’s Rob Kearney, Wales’ Dan Biggar and New Zealand’s Ben Smith are among the best in the world at fielding the ping-pong kicking exchanges, but none are better than Brown.

Lewsey is a better all-rounder however. He eclipses Brown in attack with his speed, and was rock-solid in defence.

His rib-breaking hit on Australia’s Mat Rogers