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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 September, 2004, 20:03 GMT 21:03 UK
Gatland hits back at Woodward
Wasps coach Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland secured the double last season
Wasps coach Warren Gatland has taken a swipe at Sir Clive Woodward's criticism of top flight domestic clubs.

Woodward blamed lack of co-operation from Premiership bosses for his decision to quit and singled out Gatland and Bath's John Connolly.

"Ask the players who have played for England at Wasps how they are looked after," said Gatland.

"We have always been willing to release players to train with England and then give them the next couple of days off."

Gatland also went on the offensive, saying he was amazed those involved with the national team had not visited the Heineken Cup and English domestic champions.

"We have an open-door policy at Wasps and I cannot remember an England coach coming to watch us train," Gatland added.

We have requested a number of meetings with Sir Clive and have never had the opportunity to sit down
Wasps boss Warren Gatland
"It's disappointing no-one has come from England to watch the players work in their own environment."

Gatland revealed that Australia's Eddie Jones has been one of a number of high-profile coaches who have attended their sessions.

"We have requested a number of meetings with Sir Clive and have never had the opportunity to sit down round the table and discuss requirements with him," Gatland added.

"England coaches are welcome at any stage and whoever the next England coach is, let's sit down round the table and discuss the problems.

"The clubs have done a good job helping the foundations of some of England's success.

We'd like our players for 36 hours a day if that was possible
Quins chief Mark Evans
"Our policy at Wasps was to develop England players and we have put out more England-qualified players than any other club. It's been successful for us because we have players who are extremely motivated.

"Because of the funding from the RFU, I feel I am partly an employee of the RFU and part of my responsibility is to produce England players."

Harlequins director of rugby Mark Evans also refuted Woodward's attack on the clubs.

"I find the criticism a little strange but not untypical," he said.

"After the World Cup, Clive said what a great job the clubs had done and how professional we are but now to say it is all about directors of rugby not helping does not make any sense to me at all.

"All coaches want more time, we'd like our players for 36 hours a day if that was possible. That is the nature of the beast."



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