"Stop there" - England coach brilliantly shuts down Sir Clive Woodward ahead of France clash - Ruck

“Stop there” – England coach brilliantly shuts down Sir Clive Woodward ahead of France clash

England coach Richard Wigglesworth has refuted suggestions that criticism from former coaches and players, including Sir Clive Woodward, served as a primary motivator for the team’s performance last weekend.

Wigglesworth’s response comes in the wake of England’s thrilling victory over Ireland in the Six Nations last Saturday.

Sir Clive Woodward, a former head coach of England, hinted that his pre-match analysis could have played a role in the Red Rose’s narrow 23-22 win at Twickenham against the Irish side.

Wigglesworth stated: “That is a slippery slope to try and use – we want to get better. The players hear and see it, because you have got your phone right in front of you and use it in an emotional moment, as someone like Ben Earl did.

“Let’s just stop there and you guys taking some credit from their performance. Every week is different and you use, as a player, a coaching staff and a team, different things and you will tap into different emotions.

“We want to be obsessed with getting better, want to keep moving on. What people talk about as a disaster for us is a learning experience, so at the end we are moving the dial in the right direction. We have to find everything each week

“There are emotional buttons the players want to press themselves but at the core is are we trying to move our game on, trying to get better, having real clarity on what we are going after, so we get better?”

2027 Rugby World Cup draw (Current rankings)

The men’s Rugby World Cup 2027 in Australia will feature 24 teams after the World Rugby Council approved historic reimagination of the competition format, window and timing.

Reflecting World Rugby’s mission to increase the global competitiveness, reach, impact and value of international rugby, the 11th edition of the men’s pinnacle event will see the world’s top teams compete for the right to lift the Webb Ellis Cup across six weeks from 1 October to 13November, 2027.

The new format will feature six pools of four teams, with a round of 16 added prior to the quarter-finals. This will enable the tournament window to be reduced from seven to six weeks, while promoting a rhythm that builds momentum across the pool phase and respects the same minimum number of rest days between matches as at France 2023.

A cornerstone of overall reform of the international calendar from 2026, this reimagination of Rugby World Cup has players and fans at heart, providing unions and international and domestic competitions with greater opportunity and certainty. It has been made possible by linked reform of World Rugby Regulation 9 governing the international windows for player release.


  • South Africa
  • Japan
  • Georgia
  • Hong Kong
Siya Kolisi, Captain of South Africa celebrates after the Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Stade De France, Paris on 29 October 2023 (Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK)


  • Ireland
  • Fiji
  • Samoa
  • Chile
James Lowe of Ireland during the Autumn Nations Cup match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on November 21 2020. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK