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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 00:58 GMT
Woodward's blueprint for glory
By Simon Austin

CLIVE WOODWARD
Clive Woodward
Born: 6 Jan 1956 (Ely, Cambridgeshire)
Educated: HMS Conway/ Loughborough College
England caps: 21
Playing career: Harlequins/ Leicester/Manly
Coaching career: Manly/ Henley/London Irish/Bath
"I always say that if you let me do it my way, it will work. I can't do it anyone else's way. Trust me."

These might sound the words of a control freak, but when Clive Woodward uttered them shortly before the start of the World Cup they were completely convincing.

As it transpired, he remained true to his word and his way as England won the ultimate prize with a 20-17 victory over Australia on Saturday.

But what exactly is "Woodward's way"?

Since he became England's first full-time, professional coach in 1997, Woodward has developed a unique way of managing an international sporting team.

Before coming into the job, he set up a successful computer-leasing company that made him a millionaire.

And many of the principles he adhered to in business have influenced the way he runs the England set-up.

"Getting the right people is the biggest trick in business," he insists. "Get one wrong coach in there and it can take you a long time to sort out."

So, as you would expect, England now have a huge and meticulously-selected backroom staff, from scrummaging and kicking coaches to a visual awareness expert and kit technician.

Another of Woodward's key principles is to always provide a happy and stimulating working environment for his players.

He enjoys thinking of new and innovative ways to achieve this.

For example, when England toured South Africa in 1999, Woodward arranged for the televisions in the players' rooms to be sunk into wooden-framed boxes.

ENGLAND BACK-ROOM STAFF
England fitness coach Dave Reddin (left) with Neil Back
Phil Larder (defensive coach)
Phil Keith-Roach (scrum coach)
Dave Alred (kicking coach)
Dave Reddin (fitness coach)
Dr Simon Kemp (team doctor)
Sherylle Calder (visual awareness coach)
Tony Biscombe (video analyst)
Steve Lander (refereeing adviser)
Dave Tennison (kit technician)
Simon Hardy (throwing coach)
The sets only rose into view when a secret button was pressed.

Wasps flanker Paul Volley got so frustrated trying to figure out how it worked that he attempted to haul the television out of its box, strained his back and missed half the tour.

The England camp is also a very disciplined and regimented place.

Players have to adhere to "Lombardi time" - named after the legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi - meaning they must be 10 minutes early for all pre-arranged meetings.

They must never swear in public or make public what goes on inside the camp - as hooker Richard Cockerill found out to his cost when he disclosed such details in print and was never selected by Woodward again.

England's playing style has evolved greatly during Woodward's six-year tenure.

As a player, he was a free-running centre - something of a misfit in the functional and forward-dominated England and Leicester sides of the early 1980s.

Then, at the end of the decade, he played for and coached Sydney side Manly, where he learnt a freer, more creative style of play.

Back in England, he took up coaching posts with Henley, London Irish and then Bath, his sides quickly earning a reputation for being maverick.

Woodward took this philosophy with him into the England set-up, although it has gradually changed.

My only goal when I took over was for England to be the best team in the world
Clive Woodward

England threw away the 2000 Grand Slam after naively attempting to play 15-man rugby in torrential rain on a quagmire pitch in Scotland.

Their style is now more flexible, depending on conditions and opposition, as their demolition of France in a wet World Cup semi-final this year showed.

Perhaps most significantly, Woodward has introduced a new mindset - one of confidence, positive thinking and ambition - that was also forged during his time in Australia.

"England is a sports-nuts country - we're probably more crazy about sport than the Australians," he said this week.

"We just don't do it in quite the same way or take it as seriously - which is our fault.

"My only goal when I took over was for England to be the best team in the world."

His ambition finally became reality in Sydney's Telstra Stadium on Saturday, 22 November, 2003.





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