Readers of a certain vintage will remember Jonny Wilkinson’s extraordinary injury-time drop goal that won the Rugby World Cup 2003 for England.
It was one of those sporting moments that brought a nation together, and even non-rugby fans were singing ‘Swing Low’ by the end of the match – which concluded on a Sunday morning due to the time difference.
There’s a similar time-zone conundrum for fans to solve ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup, which gets underway this weekend in Japan.
But even so, there is very much a feeling of the ’03 about this England squad: if Eddie Jones’ men can start well, there could be another Three Lions World Cup victory to roar following the exploits of the cricket lads earlier in the summer.
Yes, this tournament comes on the back of a disappointing Six Nations campaign, but England have had success before when battling for the Webb Ellis Cup, and that won’t stop patriotic fans getting behind their boys – and putting their money where their mouth is in the betting market.
Mind you, Harry Aitkenhead, a PR official at Coral, reckons that some pessimism is necessary.
“The way that there are five or six teams that can all beat anybody on their day means we have one of the most open World Cups we have ever seen, and it means whoever you are backing the odds will always be favourable,” he said.
So can England bring home another World Cup trophy to complete a fine summer for domestic sporting stars?
Often in betting, it’s best to follow the smart money over the heart-and-soul patriotism that dictates our national heroes have a shot at glory.
Of course, England do have a great chance of winning the World Cup, as their general odds of 4/1 attest.
However, Eddie Jones’ men are sandwiched in-between a pair of arguably more edifying selections.
New Zealand, the favourites looking for a third consecutive slice of World Cup glory, are as short as 5/4 in places, and while they haven’t been their usual dominant selves in recent months they still have the experience to shine on the big stage.
Meanwhile, much of the betting money is going to South Africa, who share that 4/1 price with England. The Springboks have received nearly 20% of all World Cup bets and the ease with which they broke down the Kiwis’ backline in their test matches in recent memory suggest they certainly have a shot.
More than a third of bettors believe that South Africa will take on New Zealand in the final in November.
The Top Try Scorer is another intriguing category. If you are going to bet on the winner in this market then the wingers for New Zealand are obvious targets for investment, and both Rieko Ioane and Sevu Reece have been well supported.
But the money is coming in for South Africa to win the whole thing, and the knock-on effect of that is that their winger, Cheslin Kobe, has been well backed to top score – he’s into 14/1 after receiving a third of all bets in the past week.
For patriotic fans desperate to get behind England in some way, how about a flutter on Owen Farrell to be Top Tournament Point Scorer at 4/1? The Three Lions skipper is one of the most reliable kickers on the planet, and if England go on a deep run – as is hoped and expected! – then he will surely be one of the shining stars that looks to emulate the Class of 2003.