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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 21:53 GMT
Woodward named top coach
Clive Woodward
Woodward has led England for more than six years

England rugby coach Clive Woodward was named Coach of the Year at the 2003 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

Woodward guided his team to a famous Rugby World Cup victory in Australia.

He took the England reins in 1997, replacing Jack Rowell as the country's first full-time coach.

Woodward came under fire in 2002 when England fell at the final hurdle for the fourth straight year in their quest for the Grand Slam.

His meticulous planning and restructuring behind the scenes came good a year later.

England defeated Ireland in Dublin to win the elusive Grand Slam, but Woodward's focus was solely on the World Cup.

Away wins over New Zealand and Australia confirmed England's credentials, and building gradually through the tournament, Woodward ensured England were at their best in the latter stages of the World Cup.

From a coaching point of view to arrive as favourite then win it was great
Woodward on the World Cup win

Woodward had instilled an unstinting belief in his players, so that when Australia fought back to force extra time in the final, England refused to crumble.

The 47-year-old, whose contract runs until 2007, is already talking of the future and the opportunities ahead for a side he has moulded into the world's best.



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