England great and current Newcastle boss Dean Richards has claimed the national team used fake blood to help them win the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
He first made his assertion in a confidential meeting with the Rugby Football Union at the time of the Bloodgate crisis 10 years ago.
“The use of fake blood, cutting players, re-opening wounds, feigning injury in the front row, jabbing players with anesthetic all occur regularly throughout the game,” Richards said in the report but insisted he had only been involved in using fake blood.
Richards was asked for examples and listed seven, including: “RWC 2003. England used faked blood [did not know whether capsule or cut by someone in medical team] to manage replacements.”
When asked how he knew, Richards indicated he was informed by a person in the England squad.
England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup head coach Sir Clive Woodward has responded to the accusation, branding it “absolute nonsense”.
“We won every match in Australia,” he said. “Why would we want to cheat? This is simply not true. I am not sure why Dean raised this. I have never been involved in anything like this. It is ridiculous.”
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2003 World Cup final WAGS
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12. Mike Tindall – Zara Phillips
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