Come tomorrow evening they may be national heroes. But who exactly are these unlikely lads?

England's rugby union team is on the verge of greatness. If they win the World Cup, they will achieve instant celebrity. But we know relatively little about them. Here's our guide the nearly famous XV.
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The Independent Online

15. Jason Robinson
Full-back
Age: 33
Trademark: earned the nickname "Billy Whizz" because of his extraordinary speed.
Education: Cross Flatts Park Middle School and Matthew Murray High School in Leeds.
Family: married to Amanda, a former photography student.
Outside of rugby: he and his wife have educated all five of their children at home. He is a committed Christian.
Essential trivia: the family love caravan holidays.
Posh Rating: onestar
Marketability: fourstar
Housewife's Choice: fourstar

14. Paul Sackey
Wing
Age: 27
Trademark: blessed with extraordinary speed. Can take anyone on the outside.
Education: John Fisher RC School, Purley, Surrey.
WAG factor: girlfriend is Vicky.
Outside of rugby: has established car-sourcing business, finding and selling top-of-the-range cars including, in one case, a £330,000 Rolls Royce Phantom.
Essential trivia: had football trials as a teenager at Crystal Palace, Reading and Aston Villa. Owes speed to training from Margot Wells, wife of the former Olympic 100 metres champion Allan.
Posh Rating: threestar
Marketability: fourstar
Housewife's Choice: fourstar

13. Mathew Tait
Centre
Age: 21
Trademark: Youthful athleticism. Great try- scoring potential.
Education: Barnard Castle public school, Co Durham.
WAG factor: has a partner, whose identity has not been revealed.
Outside of rugby: shares a house with his younger brother, Alex, who is following in his footsteps. Abandoned plans to be doctor or vet to pursue rugby.
Essential trivia: went to same school that produced England internationals Rob Andrew, Rory Underwood and Tony Underwood.
Posh Rating: fourstar
Marketability: threestar
Housewife's Choice: twostar

12. Mike Catt
Centre
Age: 36
Trademark: the orchestrator par excellence. Aging slightly at 36, but a visionary.
Education: South African-born, he went to Grey Junior and High School and represented Eastern Province.
WAG factor: wife Ali, 35. She nearly died in 2003 from complications after birth of daughter, Evie.
Outside of rugby: devoted to his family.
Essential trivia: left South Africa in 1992 to visit family in Stroud, Gloucs. Asked the local Gloucester club, but they weren't interested, so he tried Bath instead. The rest is history.
Posh Rating: threestar
Marketability: threestar
Housewife's Choice: threestar

11. Mark Cueto
Wing
Age: 27
Trademark: power and natural footballing skills which are possibly England's finest.
Education: Thomas More School, Crewe; Manchester Metropolitan University.
WAG factor: met girlfriend, Amy, at school.
Outside of rugby: models for a clothing chain. Swapped Porsche 911 for a Mini to alleviate muscular pain.
Esssential trivia: named after Antonio Cueto, who sailed from Santander in Spain to Cumbria, Cueto's birthplace, about 100 years ago. Cueto's grandfather was a Spanish gardener.
Posh Rating: twostar
Marketability: fourstar
Housewife's Choice: threestar

10. Jonny Wilkinson
Fly-half
Age: 28
Trademark: a legend, with every attribute – despite his less-than-best form in this World Cup. Converts when it really counts.
Education: Lord Wandsworth College, Hampshire, and Durham University.
WAG factor: Shelley Jenkins, 25, a graduate, met Jonny while working as a waitress in a Majorcan cocktail bar.
Outside of rugby: has taken up Spanish and honed his guitar and piano skills.
Essential trivia: a fuchsia has been named in his honour.
Posh Rating: fourstar
Marketability: fivestar
Housewife's Choice: fivestar

9. Andy Gomarsall
Scrum-half
Age: 33
Trademark: wise head. Arguably provides better passing service than any of the scrum halves in the world.
Education: Bedford School and Oxford Brookes University.
WAG factor: his wife, Francesca, runs a physiotherapy business.
Outside of rugby: an avid follower of motor racing.
Essential trivia: supports Tottenham Hotspur for no other reason than that they won when he watched his first football game on television.
Posh Rating: fourstar
Marketability: twostar
Housewife's Choice: threestar

8. Nick Easter
No 8
Age: 29
Trademark: strong runner and excellent reader of play.
Education: Dulwich College, the boarding and day school in south London.
WAG factor: none known of.
Outside of rugby: Easter is a big fan of Dire Straits and The Killers. He also enjoys playing golf.
Essential trivia: became first England No 8 to score four tries earlier this year. Has also scored the "shortest hat-trick in rugby history" against Wales – each was scored with a drive of barely a metre to the try line.
Posh Rating: fivestar
Marketability: twostar
Housewife's Choice: twostar

7. Lewis Moody
Flanker
Age: 29
Trademark: his industrious nature. He will chase like a terrier all night.
Education: Oakham School, the co-educational boarding school in Rutland.
WAG factor: his wife Annie runs her own interior design company, Anneidi.
Outside of rugby: enjoys high-adrenaline pursuits such as wakeboarding and ice driving, hence his nickname "Crazy Horse". Had sights on a career in the Army or in architecture. He and his wife are property developers.
Essential trivia: he avoids heights because he suffers from vertigo.
Posh Rating: fourstar
Marketability: threestar
Housewife's Choice: threestar

6. Martin Corry
Flanker
Age: 34
Trademark: dependability. Rarely errs in defence; a great leader.
Education: Tunbridge Wells Grammar School, Kent, and Northumbria University.
WAG factor: married to Tara. They have two children.
Outside of rugby: a big fan of Scarborough Town FC, who were liquidated in June but re-formed this season to play non-league.
Essential trivia: made a 22,000-mile round-trip from the 2003 Rugby World Cup to be present at the birth of his first child, Eve, before returning to the squad.
Posh Rating: threestar
Marketability: threestar
Housewife's Choice: threestar

5. Ben Kay
Lock
Age: 31
Trademark: line-out king and as fine a jumper as they get.
Education: Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby, and Loughborough University. Cites his former PE teacher Ian Robinson, who died in a rafting accident in Australia in July, as a big influence.
WAG factor: wife Virginia, a physiotherapist, gave birth to their first daughter Jemima earlier this year.
Outside of rugby: a big fan of Liverpool FC.
Essential trivia: led people to safety after flooding in Evesham, Gloucestershire, this summer.
Posh Rating: fivestar
Marketability: threestar
Housewife's Choice: threestar

4. Simon Shaw
Lock
Age: 34
Trademark: indestructibility – from disrupting mauls to bypassing wingers, he always threatens.
Education: King's and Runnymede Colleges, Godalming Sixth Form College and the University of West of England.
WAG factor: his wife Jane is Australian. He is Kenyan by birth.
Outside of rugby: sports fanatic, who also excelled at shot put and discuss. Also harbours ambitions to open a restaurant
Essential trivia: Shaw is one of the tallest men to play international rugby for England.
Posh Rating: fourstar
Marketability: twostar
Housewife's Choice: fourstar

3. Phil Vickery (captain)
Prop
Age: 31
Trademark: strength: one of the strongest props in world rugby and is known as Raging Bull.
Education: Budehaven Secondary, Cornwall.
WAG factor: married to Kate, full-time mother to their two-year-old daughter.
Outside of rugby: a passionate Cornishman. The farmer's son is a qualified cattle inseminator and won the right to drive his cattle through Gloucester after becoming a freeman of the city following England's 2003 World Cup win.
Essential trivia: his menswear clothing range Raging Bull and women's wear sideline named Moody Cow.
Posh Rating: twostar
Marketability: fourstar
Housewife's Choice: twostar

2. Mark Regan
Hooker
Age: 35
Education: St Brendan's College, Brislington, Bristol.
Trademark: talking: during the game and usually to opponents. "He talked to me more in the past two games than my wife has in the past 10 years," said Springbok hooker John Smit.
WAG factor: unknown.
Outside of rugby: a great champion of Bristol and also a great socialiser, known as the team joker.
Essential trivia: Regan announced his retirement from international rugby in 2004. Nicknamed "Ronnie" after the former President of the United States. Invariably calls people "bab" in his Bristol patois.
Posh Rating: twostar
Marketability: twostar
Housewife's Choice: twostar

1. Andrew Sheridan
Prop
Age: 27
Trademark: sheer strength. Arguably the strongest England player of all time.
Education: Dulwich College, south London
WAG factor: wife Siwan, in her 20s, works at Salford University.
Outside rugby: lists bricklaying (in which he has a Level 2 NVQ) and song-writing as his favourite pastimes. Country and folk guitar are his specialities.
Essential trivia: likes bench presses – a lot. Has been known to bench press a weight of
225 kilograms.
Posh Rating: fourstar
Marketability: threestar
Housewife's Choice: twostar

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