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Sunday, October 31, 1999 Published at 12:19 GMT


Woodward: I'll go on

Clive Woodward has come in for a barrage of criticism

England coach Clive Woodward insists he has no plans to resign despite renewed calls for him to step down, following his side's 44-21 World Cup quarter-final defeat by South Africa last week.


Will Carling: "I think it's time to move on"
Woodward's predecessor Jack Rowell blasted England's tactics after the Paris defeat and former captain Will Carling has slammed Woodward's selection policy for the 1999 tournament.

"It has never crossed my mind to resign," Woodward is quoted as saying in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

"If I wasn't wanted, and if the Rugby Football Union in the shape of Francis Baron, Brian Baister and Fran Cotton didn't think I was doing a decent job, then I would leave immediately.


[ image: Will Carling has called Woodward's selection policy into question]
Will Carling has called Woodward's selection policy into question
"But I've spoken to all of them since the quarter-final and they have been very supportive.

"My contract ends in August and if they ask me to continue after that, I know I've the energy and commitment to do so but I'm not going to keep skiing uphill.

"I have no doubts over my ability but if there's someone better, then I fully expect the RFU to employ them."

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Carling said England's World Cup preparation was of limited value once the World Cup had begun.

"Blame isn't the issue, we do point the finger too much in English sport," Carling said.


Bill Beaumont: "England undoubtedly underperformed"
"Yet there are a number of faults that do lie with the manager: preparation, tactics and selection especially.

"I don't put much criticism at the players door and I'm not convinced Woodward is the right man.

"No one's really explained to me why Wilkinson didn't play fly-half in the Five Nations.

"Generally in the last 2 years the number 9 and 10 shirt has been passed around far too liberally and those are crucial positions.

"When it comes to a World Cup, the top sides all have a consistency of selection, but that hasn't been one of Woodward's strengths.

"I think the main question is, 'Does he have the respect of the majority of the players?' And the impression I've got is a lot of players have lost that vital word, respect, for him."

Former captain and member of the RFU's International Board, Bill Beaumont, said Woodward's contract would be honoured, however.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live he said: "We've now got the Six Nations to look forward to.

"We will take heed and I'm sure Clive will take heed of what's gone on. What we have to do is improve our playing standard all round.

"I cannot see the benefit of getting of Clive Woodward.

I dont know why everyone getting so uptight about this. [Sacking him] isn't even on the agenda."



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