RWC #42: Andrew Sheridan destroys Australia’s frontrow

England’s giant loosehead ground the Wallabies into the ground in 2007 quarter-final

Andrew Sheridan gets to grips with Australia’s Matt Dunning during England’s 2007 quarter-final win. Photograph: Getty

Andrew Sheridan gets to grips with Australia’s Matt Dunning during England’s 2007 quarter-final win. Photograph: Getty

 

Standing at 6ft 5” and weighing 20 stone Andrew Sheridan was a monster even by the pumped up standards of modern rugby, especially when you consider he plied his trade as a loosehead prop.

With great size came great strength. Sheridan’s party tricks included being able to benchpress 225kgs, which is the equivalent of three Peter Stringers - or two Paul O’Connells.

And how best to use this superhuman, hulk-like ability? Well, by destroying Australian frontrows of course.

Sheridan made his name in an England shirt in a 2005 Autumn International after producing a man of the match performance which saw Al Baxter and then Matt Dunning forced off the pitch having been bulldozed into submission.

Two years later and he was at it again, this time in the 2007 World Cup quarter final in Marseille.

Underdogs England had Jonny Wilkinson’s boot to thank for their 12-10 win but it was Sheridan, along with Mark Regan and Phil Vickery, who laid the foundations for victory.

Throughout the English pack had Australia on the back foot at the Stade Veledrome, the trio of Lewis Moody, Nick Easter and Martin Corry capitalising on the tight five’s good work and nullifying the threat of Georges Smith and Gregan.

Time and again Sheridan pulverised Dunning and Australia forwards coach Michael Foley, who had spent months working on scrummaging techniques to negate the threat posed by the Sale Sharks forward, could only watch on as his plans were trampled all over.

Ultimately Sheridan’s hulking, creaking body was his downfall and he had to quit Toulon with a neck injury last year.

Off the pitch the big man is a singer songwriter and in 2010 released his debut album, ‘Where we go from here’, which is probably Australia’s frontrow were asking after Sheridan was finished with them.

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