"Got it badly wrong" - Sir Clive Woodward admits his one 'major regret' about his time in charge of England - Ruck

“Got it badly wrong” – Sir Clive Woodward admits his one ‘major regret’ about his time in charge of England

Sir Clive Woodward’s resignation before the 2007 Rugby World Cup was a regrettable moment in an otherwise illustrious career.

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Despite his significant contributions to rugby as both a player and coach, Woodward acknowledged mishandling his departure, tearing up his contract prematurely due to frustration with the lack of support for his vision of radical change within the RFU.

While his coaching tenure saw England’s triumph in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, Woodward’s departure highlights the challenges faced in the dynamic landscape of elite sports management.

He revealed his sadness at letting down his wife on the day he walked away from the game. ‘Ninety-five per cent of Jane’s advice I have taken, and five per cent I haven’t,’ he said. ‘The one time I didn’t take her advice, which I regret, is when
I left the England job.

‘She briefed me before the final Press conference. She said this is the time to thank everybody, that we had been incredibly lucky, and reminded me that I had resigned and that the RFU did not want me to go. So, that’s what I decided to do. It lasted 30 seconds. Something was said and I just tore into them.

‘I went into them in terms of why I was leaving. It wasn’t the right time to do that because without Francis Baron, Graham Cattermole and the RFU, I wouldn’t have achieved as much as we did. They had supported me brilliantly.

‘I had decided to resign. It wasn’t the time for cheap shots, it was time to shake hands and move on.

‘Jane was sitting in front of me and I could see her face going whiter and whiter, horrified at what I was doing. We got in the car afterwards and sat in silence for a minute.

‘She looked at me and said, “That’s that. You have just burned your bridges. There is no way you will ever come back here. You may be right in what you’re saying, but it was the wrong time to do it.” I got it badly wrong. I regret it now.’

Despite this regret, Woodward’s legacy remains intact, characterised by his innovative coaching methods, emphasis on teamwork, and lasting impact on the sport of rugby.

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Reported England XV to face Scotland:

ollowing their heart-stopping triumph over Italy and a sensational comeback against Wales, Steve Borthwick’s men are brimming with confidence as they prepare to take on their northern foes.

The Scots, reigning champions of the Calcutta Cup, are determined to keep their grip on the coveted trophy.

Despite a recent setback against France, Gregor Townsend’s squad is fired up and ready to redeem themselves on home turf.

In a bid to secure victory at Murrayfield, England is reportedly shaking up their starting lineup, making not one, but two changes according to reports from The Telegraph.


1. Joe Marler

Joe Marler of England Rugby during the Six Nations Championship match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on February 26th 2021. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

2. Jamie George

3. Will Stuart


4. Maro Itoje

A frustrated Maro Itoje of England during the Guinness Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on Saturday 11th March 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

5. Ollie Chessum