Inside England's dressing-room: Jokers, mavericks and a natural- born leader by Owen Slot

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The Independent Online
1. Will Carling: Commands respect as captain, but is not immune to being ribbed by his team-mates, usually for the amount of money he makes. Pre-match talks are delivered in the team hotel, followed by a short address in the changing-room before the match. This is a measured appeal; there is never any chest-thumping.

2. Dean Richards: Enormously respected by his team-mates. A man of few words, however, and has a distaste for pre-match hype. Before the Third Test of the Lions tour of Australia in 1989, an exhortation by Clive Rowlands, the manager, reached such a pitch that he left the room. He will do no warming up before the game. Usually sits in the corner and reads the programme.

3. Rob Andrew: A senior figure. Easy charm and modesty make him popular, but he is the butt of the forwards' jokes. They call him "Golden bollocks" or "Squeaky clean". Has yet to live down Dick Best's comment that he is "every mother's favourite son-in-law".

4. Brian Moore: Barrack-room lawyer. Self-appointed spokesman of the team, but was away last weekend when the storm broke. Gets hugely fired up before games, and often breaks the contemplative atmosphere in the dressing-room. Does a short circuit of press-ups and sit-ups before taking the field.

5. Rory Underwood: Reserved family man who usually keeps his own counsel. Is always the last to change and can be seen doing a crossword before the game. Will contribute to team meetings, and took the chair in a recent gathering. Particularly friendly with Rob Andrew, with whom he was at school.

6. Jeremy Guscott: Aloof air is deceptive. More than the other backs, he is at one with the forwards, and gets ridiculed for his modelling career. No stranger to last week's show of solidarity: at school, he led his team- mates off the pitch during a football match in protest at the referee and was expelled.

7. Mike Catt: A social player from the old school. On tour in South Africa was a leading member of the "Playboy Club" (other founders were Stuart Barnes and Damian Hopley). Takes plenty of stick for his South African accent.

8. Jason Leonard: Can barely open his mouth at team meetings without receiving imitations of his Essex accent. Has not lived down the admission that he watched his England shirt revolving in the washing machine for the entire programme the day after his first cap.

9. Victor Ubogu: Maverick Oxford graduate who likes fancy waistcoats, the opera and his Lotus. Lampooned for his dress sense: on tour in South Africa, the punishment for the "Dick of the Day" was to wear a pair of Ubogu's red jeans.

10. Kyran Bracken: "Baby" of the side but a mature presence as he captained England junior sides. Ribbed for a lack of common sense.

11. Ben Clarke: One of the pack on and off the pitch. His team-mates joke that he is far too handsome to be a forward.

12. Tim Rodber: When he arrived in the team, he was unusually forthright with his opinions. But any trace of arrogance disappeared when he returned after being dropped in 1993. Has great presence.

13. Martin Bayfield: He was quiet, sensible and keen to take advice at outset of his international career. As an established team member has become a merciless wit.

14. Tony Underwood: Quiet and reflective, but less so than his brother. Showed his nerves when he first came into the squad.

15. Martin Johnson: Extremely modest, and a man of few words off the pitch. Was the perfect replacement for Wade Dooley.

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