Sir Clive Woodward has slammed the RFU for regressing in recent years with one bizarre story from 2019 highlighting his point.
“I fear we are witnessing a return of the RFU old boys’ club — or the ‘old farts’ as Will Carling famously described them — as they try to close down legitimate debate on Eddie Jones’ future,” wrote Woodward in his column for the Mail Online.
“It is all smoke and mirrors and it’s not serving the needs of English rugby, which is the only thing that counts.”
Speaking on the statement released by the RFU, he added: “In the press release, he or she — we have no idea who it is, only an RFU spokesperson which is just so gutless — stated that the RFU were ‘encouraged by England’s solid progress’, a frankly absurd comment that has been rightly ridiculed.
“Is this really the view of everyone at the RFU? I think not. Ugo Monye — one of the fairest and least hysterical pundits on the circuit — called it ‘dishonest’ and I concur entirely. The RFU are deliberately trying to mislead the rugby public.
“To have the word ‘dishonest’ levelled at the RFU is unprecedented but unfortunately in this case totally accurate. Well done Ugo for having the bottle to say so.”
Woodward then revealed he met with Sweeney following England’s defeat in the 2019 World Cup final.
“I got a call from Sweeney, who I had only met a few times, inviting me for a few beers and an informal debrief of the World Cup. I had seen the knockout stages first-hand and had also witnessed the final week’s preparation — a serious lesson in how not to prepare.
“I took my trusty notebook with me, in which I had jotted down a long list of bullet points on the flight home from Japan. Some minor but some crucial and in the spirit of constructive cooperation I offered them up to Bill. Some were clearly uncomfortable for him as he was also partly to blame.
“About 45 minutes after I left the pub, I got a foul-mouthed text from Jones berating me for my views. I was gobsmacked and more than annoyed. It had been a private session with Sweeney over a few beers but straight after the two of them had obviously spoken.
“I don’t know who phoned who, I did not care, but suddenly I was the bad guy. The paranoia was worrying.
“So this is why I am so suspicious now. They want to close the debate down because they know there needs to be one and they know it will uncover some painful truths for both of them.”
- Six Nations Team Of The Tournament Revealed
- Stuart Hogg’s Scotland future in doubt after ‘angry’ interview
- Five things you might have missed during Super Saturday
- Delighted Italy Skipper Drops F-Bomb During Interview
- Incredible piece of sportsmanship from Josh Adams goes viral
The Top 5 Rugby Conspiracy Theories
1. Stephen Donald kick
This may seem strange, but there were actually theories that Donald actually missed the penalty that decided the World Cup final in 2011.
It’s been widely suggested that Donald actually missed the penalty that decided the final and, paralysed by fear and their innate pro-New Zealand bias, match officials refused to assert themselves.
Is it true? I suspect not. It looks like it glanced off the inside of the right upright, but it doesn’t help that the video is less than conclusive.