Sports Awards: England's World Cup winners Team of the Year

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The England rugby union team have earned more glory for last year's World Cup victory as they were named World Team of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards here in Portugal last night.

Sir Clive Woodward's men fought off competition from Milan, the Australian cricket team, Ferrari, the Alinghi America's Cup sailing team and the German women's football team to collect the prize.

England defeated Australia in the World Cup final thanks to a drop goal in the final minute of extra time from Jonny Wilkinson, who was nominated for the Sportsman of the Year award. That went to the Formula One motor racing world champion, Michael Schumacher.

England are the second British winners of the team award after Manchester United, who were honoured in 2000. They succeed the Brazil football team, while the 2002 award went to Australia's peerless cricket team. The French football team won in 2001.

Among the other victors, women's golf was celebrating after Annika Sorenstam and the teenage sensation Michelle Wie both claimed awards. The Swede Sorenstam, who in 2003 became the first female to play in a men's tour event, was named Sportswoman of the Year, while Wie, who is only 14, beat the racing driver Fernando Alonso and the Open golf champion Ben Curtis to be crowned Newcomer of the Year.

The event is organised by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a charitable organisation that supports numerous projects across the world.