Fri 23 Apr 2021 | 02:06

'Scandalous': Woodward slams RFU's Six Nations debrief

'Scandalous': Woodward slams RFU's Six Nations debrief
Fri 23 Apr 2021 | 02:06
'Scandalous': Woodward slams RFU's Six Nations debrief
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REACTION: Rugby World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward has torn into the Rugby Football Union’s Six Nations debrief, describing it as “cringeworthy” in a 1800-word diatribe.

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On Wednesday, the RFU concluded its debrief of the England men’s Six Nations 2021 campaign, its worst ever, confirming “its full support and backing of Eddie Jones as head coach, while recognising a sub-optimal campaign and the factors that contributed to it”.

However, Woodward, writing in his Daily Mail column, has slammed the debrief as both damaging and a “whitewash” and claiming that no name being attached to the document is “scandalous”.

“Firstly, note that not one person is willing to have their name attached to this review. That is scandalous. We need to know the identity and qualifications of those at the RFU passing judgment and assessing a man who has twice taken sides to the World Cup final and was also involved in South Africa’s 2007 triumph.”

The RFU also stated they would ensure “external rugby experts inform all future debriefs to provide additional insight and support for the head coach”.

Woodward questioned the logic of such of move and was surprised that Jones would accept it.

“The more I think about this, the more bizarre it seems. He might not be in a position of strength after recent results, but I am absolutely staggered that Jones has accepted this nonsense.

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“As with every panel the RFU have assembled over the last decade, I would question their qualifications. It will be hard enough to find one person with the right knowledge and character to assess and challenge a coach of Eddie’s experience, let alone a panel of them.”

Woodward branded whole debrief as nothing more than corporate “excuse-making”.

“It’s a cringe-worthy exercise in box-ticking, excuse-making and corporate twaddle by those who no doubt think they could coach a team like England but have neither the talent nor the bottle.

“It is so wrong that Jones will have no place to hide while those on the panel presiding over him enjoy anonymity and therefore no repercussions for their decisions.”

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Woodward also called the findings in the report “fatuous” and questioned the idea that players were fatigued: “And who exactly were these fatigued players who, remember, played no rugby at all from March to August last year.

“Many didn’t appear in the Premiership play-offs and played very limited rugby, or none at all, in the autumn internationals. I don’t think you will find Max Malins, Ollie Lawrence, Ben Earl, Dan Robson, Ellis Genge, Mark Wilson, Harry Randall, Paolo Odogwu and Anthony Watson complaining of rugby and fatigue. On the contrary, they were straining at the leash. And if there were players complaining of mental fatigue, don’t pick them.”

Source: Daily Mail & @RugbyPass

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