Sir Clive Woodward, who guided England to Rugby World Cup victory in Australia in 2003, is staggered at the RFU’s decision to end England Women’s contracts after the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) says its focus will switch to the sevens game after this year’s World Cup in Ireland, which starts next month.
“Totally Agree – something has gone badly wrong here ? , a massive own goal & makes no sense – communication of this has at best been v poor”
— Sir Clive Woodward (@CliveWoodward) July 26, 2017
He was replying to rugby writer Stephen Jones, who tweeted:
“Absolutely staggered at RFU slashing contracts for Red Roses 15s. Nonsensical betrayal, timing disgraceful, priority for 7s is unfathomable.”
The RFU, which last year announced record revenues of more than £400m, says its priorities are cyclical and shift between the XVs and sevens programmes, with the Rugby World Cup Sevens and Commonwealth Games taking place next year.
It says the XVs side will continue to take part in competitions including the Women’s Six Nations, and stresses it has invested millions of pounds in the women’s game, including £800,000 annually on a new domestic club competition aimed at increasing and improving the talent pool available for selection for England.