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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 April 2006, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Robinson not averse to Woodward
Sir Clive Woodward and Andy Robinson oversee England training in 2004
Woodward and Robinson have worked together with Bath, England and the Lions
England coach Andy Robinson admits he would not be averse to working with Sir Clive Woodward again if he is appointed as the RFU's new Elite Rugby Director.

Robinson will report to whoever is given the new position, a role which will also carry a voice on selection.

"Hopefully there will be a number of world-class candidates," Robinson told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Clive and I have a very good relationship, we always have done, and let's see what happens."

Former South Africa coach Nick Mallett and Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards, the former England number eight, have also been mentioned as possible contenders.

Whatever you say about him, whether you like him or not, he gets results
Kyran Bracken on Woodward
The director would also be responsible for negotiating player release with the Premiership clubs and overseeing management and administration.

Newcastle's director of rugby Rob Andrew, the former England fly-half, ruled himself out of contention on Saturday, saying his loyalties lie with the Falcons.

"We have something special brewing but it is not right yet," he said after Newcastle's defeat at Worcester.

"I feel there is so much to do at Newcastle in carrying forward the project we are involved in."

Former defence coach Phil Larder, sacked this week as part of the overhaul of the England coaching set-up, believes Woodward, who resigned as head coach in 2004, is the right man for the job.

"There's no other person I know who could do it as well as Clive," Larder told The Mirror newspaper.

"He's got all the right credentials and he can stand with the best of them."

Larder added: "You need someone who's tough and resilient. Clive would be outstanding and I fervently hope he gets it."

Former England scrum-half Kyran Bracken, a member of the 2003 World Cup-winning squad, also backed Woodward's possible return to Twickenham.

"I said from day one if we can buy him out of his contract at Southampton, if we can get him back, then England rugby will be in good stead," he said.

"He thinks well beyond anyone else in the Rugby Football Union on the way the game should be managed and played and he has a business acumen to get what he wants and to get the team winning.

"Whatever you say about him, whether you like him or not, he gets results and he did win the World Cup and he is someone we really miss at the moment and it would be good to have him back."

Woodward is under contract as director of football at Southampton Football Club, and last month the RFU rejected claims that they were in talks to bring him back.

The RFU has launched a worldwide hunt to find the "best person" for the job but, like its counterparts at the Football Association, admit its first choice would be English.

"Our preference is to have an Englishman or secondly a British guy," said RFU chief executive Francis Baron.

"But if there is somebody that is superior and comes from any other part of the world then the board has agreed we will appoint that person."

Will Woodward return to rugby?
27 Apr 06 |  Internationals
Trio sacked in England shake-up
27 Apr 06 |  Internationals
Robinson to remain in England job
14 Mar 06 |  Internationals
RFU rejects Woodward return claim
25 Mar 06 |  Internationals

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