posted on Sep, 7 2003 @ 07:48 AM
Clive Woodward's Grand Slam heroes gave England the perfect World Cup send-off at Twickenham on Saturday with an emphatic 45-14 triumph over France -
and more importantly the victory was delivered without sustaining any serious injuries.
The major concern for both teams ahead of their second World Cup warm-up clash was the threat of losing key personnel to the rigours of a full-blooded
Test match, but thankfully that nightmare scenario failed to materialise as Woodward reported a clean bill of health.
England fielded 11 of the side which accounted for world champions Australia in June and with star duo Jonny Wilkinson and Martin Johnson in action,
the potential for disaster was enormous.
But Woodward played his hand brilliantly, hauling off the two jewels in England's crown shortly after Iain Balshaw had guaranteed England's victory
with a try 19 seconds into the second half.
The 43 minutes spent on the pitch confirmed that both players were in top form, especially Wilkinson who had lost none of his prolific kicking skills
during his lengthy playing lay-off, booting 18 points and missing just one shot at goal.