Departing Newcastle Falcons Director of Rugby Dean Richards has claimed England used fake blood to help them win the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
The former England number 8 first made his assertion in a confidential meeting with the Rugby Football Union at the time of the Blood-gate 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 2019.
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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The 5 players Sir Clive Woodward CUT from his World Cup-winning squad
Here, we remember the unlucky group of player who only just missed out on England’s triumph down under. Some are still bitter to this day.
1. Austin Healey
The versatile back flew out to Australia as injury cover for the victorious 2003 Rugby World Cup, however he was never officially added to the squad after certain players recovered, meaning he was unable to pick up a medal for the success despite flying out to Australia. No wonder he’s still bitter.
Where is he now? Working as pundit/co-commentator for BT Sport’s excellent rugby coverage