Clive Woodward Transcript20th October 2003Melbourne
AT: Clive the sniping continues with the South Africans saying that they had the England team worried because the players were sniping at each other during the game?
CW: Fantastic, every morning I get up and find the papers more and more amusing with some of the comments coming out. We admit it, attacking wise we didn’t play at our best, I thought defensively we were fantastic, but we won and I would like to keep reminding everybody that test match rugby is all about winning. I read those South African comments that they were very happy because the English players were arguing with each other. I have spoken to the players and apparently that was very quiet to how we normally are (laughter), we have a lot of vocals in the team and they do kick off, it starts in training and it certainly kicks off in the test matches.
So even the players thought it was amusing because they thought they were quite quiet on Saturday, so the South Africans should be worried when the players really start shouting at each other! I just think it is all fantastic, and we just need to sit back and keep winning the games and let all the headlines keep coming our way.
AT: Samoa which England will face on Saturday are top of the group at the moment, should we be worrying about them?
CW: I am worried about them, I worry about all the games we play. But England’s strength, as we try and get across to the opposition, is that we just go game by game. We don’t look at the bigger picture, we just go game by game. The next game is Samoa, we watched them last night against the Georgians and they were very good. They have not played against the forward pack like the one they are going to meet on Sunday when they play England. It doesn’t matter which fifteen that I pick to play it will be a very strong team.
I think that getting the South Africa game out of the way is a massive relief to us, it has been hanging around for 12 months and I think that when we look back at this World Cup, we will look at the South Africa game as being the biggest pressure game and a must win game. That game is out of the way now and we are just looking forward to the Samoan game, it should be a good test match, a very physical test match. We are playing in Melbourne in the stadium where we beat Australia three tries to one last time we played here, if my memory serves me well, and we are just looking forward to this week now.
AT: Are you aware that English Premiership sponsor Zurich have agreed to pay £10 for every point that England score, with all monies raised going to the Nick Duncombe Memorial Fund, a great tribute as Nick could have been out here?
CW: Very much so, it was a huge loss to English rugby and obviously a massive loss to his family. I knew Nick well and his family well. And I capped him against Scotland three years ago. But well done to Zurich, it is fantastic to create a memorial to Nick, it was a tragic event, we still think about him a lot as it was a tragic loss to the game.
AT: Let us hope that England score a lot of points.
CW: Lets hope so and hopefully there is another sponsor that may match that very generous offer from Zurich!
Story as it ran on www.zurichpremiership.com