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Last Updated: Monday, 25 July 2005, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Woodward says 'I'm here to learn'
Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe and Sir Clive Woodward
Rupert Lowe (left) has been an admirer of Woodward
Sir Clive Woodward began his new role as Southampton's technical director insisting he will not undermine boss Harry Redknapp.

Woodward dismissed suggestions that Redknapp would answer to him or that his arrival has caused a rift with the Saints boss.

England's rugby World Cup winning coach told Saints' website: "Harry is the manager and I'm working for him.

"I won't be doing anything at this club unless he agrees."

Woodward's decision to join Southampton has been an open secret for some time.

But Saints were only able to officially confirm him in his role following the end of the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand where they were whitewashed by the All Blacks.

Redknapp was forced to issue a denial that Woodward's arrival and role had created a rift which almost prompted the Saints boss to walk out.

Woodward's role will see him initially involved in three areas, the medical aspect, team support and structure, and individual coaching with the club's academy players.

For the first few months here it will be a case of sitting back, watching and learning
Southampton technical director Sir Clive Woodward

The former England coach revealed he has been considering a switch of codes for some time.

He said: "I have been talking to Rupert Lowe the chairman for some time about the possibility of moving to football and it's a huge challenge.

"But I stressed that I would only make the move if the people I would be working with felt comfortable about it and I wouldn't have come here unless it was with the full support of the manager.

"Harry is the boss. He's in charge, he's a big character and I've a lot to learn from him."

Woodward stressed that his inexperience of football would mean he could only play a supporting role to Redknapp and academy director Huw Jennings.

He said: "I was good at running teams with England, but now I'm part of a team.

"I'll be looking at every aspect of the game but I won't be coaching any of the teams.

"There might be areas where I think I can offer something and make suggestions. But I'll make them to Harry and Huw and if they decide it's not suitable, then nothing more will be said about it.

"This is not a short-term project for me. I was successful with the England rugby team but that took seven years to build.

"For the first few months here it will be a case of sitting back, watching and learning."

Lowe told Saints' website: "We're delighted to welcome Clive on board as Technical Director.

"He's here to concentrate particularly on our bright young players, who should be pleased to see him come in.

"He will be able to provide support for them at a crucial stage in their development and help take our successful academy on to the next level."

Interview: Sir Clive Woodward


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