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Premiership Rugby

Clive Woodward

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Clive Woodward – Sunday 22nd June, Melbourne

Andrew Titheridge: So, 12 hours after the game and a few sore heads later, when you look at that win, it must be one of the greatest ever England victories?

CW: I don’t know about that – it was just important for us to win, we have got a momentum going now. This is World Cup year and we can now start talking about the World Cup. These games have not been preparing for the World Cup, but coming down here and wining Test matches, and beating Australia and All Blacks, two of the best sides in the world and keeping the momentum going. We know now that when the players meet back at the end of July, when we start preparing for the World Cup, there will be a tremendous buzz. The anticipation already is fantastic but I think that this will help us for the World Cup tremendously, so we are just looking forward to that now. It’s just been a great trip, and for everyone involved – players, coaches and management – it has just been a great team effort and we can now start looking forward to the World Cup.

AT: In these matches before the World Cup, one against Wales and two against France, they won't be full-on test matches. You will use those games to try new players?

CW: They will be full-on Test matches. I have got in my mind now, 14 or 15 players for the World Cup, but we have to choose between one or two players that we have not decided, certainly the first two games. The away game in Wales and the away game in France – the one in Marseille – won’t be anything like the team that we saw play last night. Those three games are 100 percent in terms of our preparation for the World Cup, they will be full-on test matches. You want them to be full-on Test matches, otherwise you won't learn anything. But we are just looking forward to them, and you know that this group and there will be others joining us, from the guys in Canada and there will be five or six injured players who will be back as well, so competition for those thirty places will be immense, and it is important that I get those decisions absolutely spot on.

AT: You are on your way back home via Perth, are you inspecting the pitches?

CW: We would rather get on a plane and go home today, and for myself, I have been away a long time and I want to see my wife and kids. But, you know, our World Cup starts in Perth – we have got 17 days in Perth and a huge game against South Africa. So we have got to get it right and it does make a huge difference staying in the hotel and going out to the training pitches. It's tough for the players, it's tough for all of us, but it is something that when I get back on Friday, I’ll say, "Well done, we had to do that,it is all part of the preparation." It will be a tough few days, seeing the cricket and the sunshine and Wimbledon starting, and I can’t wait to get home. It's been a great trip but we are looking forward to getting back.

AT: I think that no-one deserves a holiday than more than you Clive. It has been great for all of us who have been involved with England these past couple of weeks so enjoy your summer.

CW: Thank you very much. It’s been a huge team effort and I am very lucky to be heading this group of players and a brilliant group of coaches. I cannot speak highly enough of Martin Johnson and Andy Robinson. There has just been an outstanding group behind the scenes. The success we are getting doesn’t come through luck, it comes through a lot of hard work and there are a lot of excellent people involved with this team.


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