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Last Updated: Friday, 3 September, 2004, 08:20 GMT 09:20 UK
Woodward rules out Saints
Rupert Lowe (left) and Clive Woodward
Woodward (right) is close friends with Lowe
Sir Clive Woodward has admitted he wants to move into football - but will not be joining Southampton or anyone else until mid-2005 at the earliest.

The ex-England rugby coach said he was "100% committed" to the 2005 Lions tour but would then take the Football Association's Grade Two badges.

He said: "I'm interested in football, I intend to do the awards but I may end up coaching Maidenhead under-nines.

"You have to start at the bottom and I intend to do that."

Woodward resigned from his job as England coach on Thursday, bringing to an end a glorious reign in which he won the World Cup.

He is friends with Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe and, having been seen at Saints games, found himself heavily linked with a move to the club, which currently does not have a manager.

However, on Friday Lowe insisted that Woodward was not about to join Southampton, although he admitted he thought that Woodward could help the club improve.

"It is well documented that Sir Clive has been to our Academy, he has met with (head coach) Steve Wigley and he is interested in learning more about football," said Lowe.

I have spoken to Rupert Lowe and asked if there is anything else I can do down there but that's nothing to do with the first team
Sir Clive Woodward

"We are interested in learning about the techniques he used to win the Rugby World Cup.

"Many of his technical and coaching practices could help our club get stronger but our relationship has gone no further than him coming down and learning more about football.

"The rest is media speculation. There is no question of him coming in as manager and Steve Wigley is established as our head coach and will shortly be bringing in a football coach to work alongside him.

"Just because he (Woodward) has been to a couple of our games, everyone thinks he is going to be our manager."

Earlier Woodward said that he was not ready to accept a senior position in football.

"You only get the top jobs after time and in terms of football I am a million miles off that," he said.

"You have to start at the bottom and I intend to do that. There have been links between our sport (rugby) and Southampton Football Club because of Rupert Lowe, who I have known for many years.

"I have spoken to him and asked if there is anything else I can do down there but that's nothing to do with the first team.

"I been down to Southampton and looked at their Academy which is among the best in Europe. I've been over to the USA without getting any headlines but I'm not about to become an NFL coach, not yet."

Woodward added: "There's no role been offered to me. All I've said is that I'm interested in coaching football.

"I will be taking no jobs in any capacity at Southampton while I am coaching the Lions and even after that I do not know what I will be doing."

Interview: Clive Woodward on Lions tour

Interview: Clive Woodward on his football plans

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