On this day in 2001: Charlie Hodgson threatens world record on debut

By Andy Hampson, PA
·2-min read

Charlie Hodgson came within one point of equalling the world record points tally in an international match as England thrashed Romania on this day in 2001.

In a remarkable debut, the Sale fly-half bagged 44 points as England eased to a 20-try, 134-0 victory in a one-sided encounter at Twickenham.

Hodgson was near-perfect against Romania
Hodgson was near-perfect against Romania (David Davies/PA)

Hodgson’s tally was a record for the England team, surpassing Paul Grayson’s previous best of 36, and he would have set a new world-best mark had his final conversion attempt not curled away and hit the post.

His points came from two tries, 14 conversions and two penalties but he was not the only player to enjoy himself in the rout.

Jason Robinson also proved difficult for the Romanians to handle
Jason Robinson also proved difficult for the Romanians to handle (Toby Melville/PA)

Jason Robinson claimed his first four tries in England colours while there were also hat-tricks for Ben Cohen and Dan Luger. Lewis Moody and Mike Tindall claimed two apiece with further touchdowns from Austin Healey, Alex Sanderson, Mark Regan and Joe Worsley.

“That was one of the best performances by England, it was completely ruthless,” said coach Clive Woodward, who went on to mastermind England’s World Cup success two years later.

Many of Hodgson's greatest successes came on the club scene
Many of Hodgson’s greatest successes came on the club scene (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Hodgson might have been part of his plans for world domination but, after featuring in the 2003 Grand Slam win, injury robbed him of the chance to participate in the global showpiece. That curse also struck him down before the next World Cup in 2007 and his international opportunities were further limited by competition from Jonny Wilkinson, in the early years, and, towards the end of his career, Owen Farrell.

In all, he won 38 Test caps between 2001 and 2012 and enjoyed a fine club career which included Premiership titles with Sale and Saracens.