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Thursday, December 08, 2005


Clive shocked at his mate's axing

Interesting on two counts. Firstly, I agree with Woodward, having Eddie coaching would strengthen whatever league he is in. It would certainly add colour if he was snapped up for a South African team but it doesn't look likely. Secondly, interesting to read Clive saying you need a couple of board members support to survive. He certainly needed that support in his time given the few dismal runs he had earlier on.

Clive shocked at his mate's axing
By Alex Brown in London
Thursday, December 8, 2005

Photo: Getty Images

England's World Cup-winning coach, Clive Woodward, believes the Australian Rugby Union has made a grave error in sacking Eddie Jones, and has implored his long-time adversary to join the UK coaching ranks.

Woodward, whose antagonism with Jones enlivened the contests between their respective sides during four years, questioned the wisdom behind the ARU's move to sack Jones without experienced replacements at the ready midway through the World Cup cycle.

"We are well down the road to the next World Cup and I think it was a mistake to let him go," Woodward told the Herald on Wednesday. "He is an experienced coach who has had a lot of success at international level and, to be honest, there are not that many of them around. We always had a bit of fun in the media but, at the end of the day, I always had the utmost respect for him."

Woodward's message of support for Jones will come as a surprise to many. The Englishman once questioned whether Jones had the "balls" to experiment with rugby league converts, while Jones accused his rival of making excuses prior to their last meeting in 2004. The issue of decoy runners proved particularly heated over the years, with Woodward labelling the controversial ploy "the old Eddie Jones trick". He also described the Australians as "very predictable" under Jones four years ago. But that, it seems, was merely for the cameras.

"It's funny - the media always made us out to be enemies, but I probably spoke more to Eddie Jones than any other international coach and more than a lot of the coaches here," Woodward said. "I am disappointed for him."

Jones is understood to be considering a move to the northern hemisphere, although English club Leicester have already ruled him out as a potential successor to incumbent coach Pat Howard, the former Wallaby who is returning to Australia at the end of the season. If Jones makes the move north, Woodward has no doubt the expansive play that drew criticism during the Wallabies recent European tour would be effective in the tighter, forward-oriented English premiership.

"Of course it would," he said. "If I was in charge of a team in the premiership and I had a chance to get Eddie Jones, I'd do it. There's no doubt he would be successful here. And he'll be even more successful because he'll be hurting after what has just happened and eager to prove a point.

"I hope he comes here. I don't give a monkey's where they come from. If you can get an international coach like that in the England set-up or coaching the premiership, that can only help English rugby."

These days, Woodward also finds himself engulfed in a coaching-related controversy, albeit somewhat different to that transpiring half a world away in the ARU's North Sydney offices. As the performance director at Southampton Football Club, Woodward has made national headlines in England this week as a potential successor to Harry Redknapp, the outgoing manager.

Woodward has ruled himself out of the race to manage Southampton, in England's first division, despite manoeuvring within the club to elevate his role in his newly adopted sport. No stranger to internal politics, Woodward sympathised with Jones's predicament towards the end of his tenure at the Wallabies when he did not have the backing of his board.

"That can take it out of you more than anything else," he said. "I was very lucky that as England coach I always had the support of two board members. It is impossible to keep all of them happy, but so long as you have a couple of heavy hitters on your side to tell you what's going on and, really, cover your back, it is a big help.

"Once you lose support in that area, it becomes a very difficult job. No one knows how tough it is until they're in the hot seat. All noses need to be pointing in the same direction. In the real world, when this kind of stuff gets in the media, all of a sudden you and the players are reading it over breakfast and you end up talking about this, rather than scrums and line-outs and rugby issues. You start to worry about that."

Woodward dismissed suggestions the Wallabies' record of one win from their past nine Tests was enough to dismiss Jones.

"This is a period in which they have had a lot of injuries and I'm sure they would have been competitive if they'd had everyone on deck," he said. "If you're talking about a rookie coach, then maybe. But Eddie is a very experienced coach. I think he gives them the best chance of being successful.

"When I was coaching England, I always loved it when other teams were changing coaches. I think one of the main reasons New Zealand are going to be so formidable is that they have a formidable coach who, in his time, has had some real bad runs. I think Eddie had targeted the next World Cup, and it was an error to let him go."

Can just imagine the whining that must be going on if these to get together for a cup of tea.  
Baba Black sheep,
have you any wool,
yes sir yes sir,
three bgs full,
one for the master,
and one for the dame,
and one for the little boy,
who lives down the lane.
Aishhhhh Donner

You having one of those fits again...??

JW consults both and admitted as much last year.

With both out of the way, will Jake now become the main whinger in international rugby?

ps. Sorry wpw

Rasp beat me to it.
Is it just me or does Stir Clive look distinctly like one C^nt face named Goerge Gabbleuu BOESHSH !  
lol @ murph!

Uncanny isn't it....
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