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Premiership Rugby

Woodward looking forward to indoor Test

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

In an interview on the official Zurich Premiership website, Woodward has come out in support of playing Test rugby with a closed roof, in the hope of emulating near-perfect conditions.

"It's not down to the team, it's down to me, I'd rather have it shut and I am very clear about that," he told the official Zurich Premiership website.

"It's surprising you get labelled with all sorts of things over hear when you're English, they seem to think that we want to play in wet conditions. We don't. This team plays better in perfect conditions.

"I came over here about a month ago in preparation for the World Cup and they asked me then, and I said I wanted it shut. If you've got a roof, let's use it and play in perfect conditions.

"I think that they were a bit taken aback by that. So we will play with the roof shut and that's great because we know it will be perfect conditions, we are very happy about that."

The Wallabies and the Springboks played with the roof closed at this stadium in 2000, while the 2001 Lions, under the tutelage of Kiwi coach Graham Henry, also faced the Wallabies in an 'indoor Test' in the 2nd game of the series which the Wallabies won to set them on their way to a series win.

"The atmosphere will be great, it will be a big game," said Woodward.

"With conditions being very, very poor it would be very difficult to play a Test match [without the roof closed]. And whilst the players may train in the rain this week, we know, come Saturday night, it will be perfect.

"This is a very skilful and powerful England team," he continued, "and this is why I find it very amusing that people don't understand that we want to play on a fast track so now we can go and play on a pitch with no wind and no wet conditions will be excellent, and I'm really looking forward to it."

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