From Zeros to Heroes (Hardback)
The Story of England's 2007 Rugby World Cup
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From Zeros to Heroes follows the England squad around France as they create the most unlikely success story in sport for years, all borne out in perhaps the greatest Rugby World Cup ever staged. In August 2007 England headed for France to defend the Rugby World Cup. No one gave them a prayer. A pathetic display against the USA, arguably the worst team in the tournament, only served to confirm the country’s fears. Less than a week later, a 36-0 thrashing at the hands of South Africa left their campaign in tatters. With a difficult clash with the heavy-hitting Samoans to come it looked increasingly likely that they would be heading home as the first defending champions to have fallen at the first hurdle. The England squad got together for a brutally honest appraisal of each other and the team’s misgivings in the tournament so far. With the slate wiped clean, it gave them something on which to build. Wins against Samoa and then Tonga followed, but despite a growing confidence within the team, a quarter-final berth against a heavily favoured Australian side would surely spell the end to their campaign. Not a chance. England battled to one of the most unlikely victories in the tournament’s history and set-up the mouth-watering semi-final clash with its old foe, France, equally unlikely winners against the tournament favourite All Blacks. Despite England having lost to France twice in the build up to the tournament and the host’s home advantage, the resurgent self-belief of the England side saw them to a famous 14-9 victory. We all now know what happened next. They may not quite have won, but no one ever expected them to be finalists. This is the story of that incredible turnaround.