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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 11:50 GMT
Woodward lined up for Lions role
Clive Woodward
Woodward led England to World Cup glory
England coach Clive Woodward is reportedly being lined up to manage the Lions on their 2005 New Zealand tour.

Chairman of the Lions committee Bill Beaumont told the Daily Telegraph: "We're hoping Clive will put his hat in the ring and make himself available.

"He's an outstanding candidate in all regards - I'll be seeing Clive and sounding out the Rugby Football Union."

British and Irish Lions chief executive John Feehan said no decision would be taken until the four contributing unions had nominated their candidates.

"If the RFU were to nominate Clive he would be an extremely strong candidate," Feehan told BBC Sport. "That's really all I could say at an official level.

"At this stage the nominations aren't closed and it's really a case of who comes forward from the individual unions."

Beaumont will have to persuade both the chosen coach and their respective union that the job would not interfere with their commitments to their country.

Woodward is contracted to England until the 2007 World Cup.

Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan is also likely to be considered for the job.

"We don't want the guy appointed to take time out of his day job," said Beaumont.

"We're talking a seven-week challenge here rather than a four-year World Cup one."

The Lions will play three Tests in New Zealand in 18 months time.

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