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Premiership Rugby

Clive Woodward update – Melbourne

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

AT: As we build up to this game against Samoa is there a chance after last Saturday’s tremendous victory that the boys might be a bit complacent?

CW: No not at all. I am looking forward to today’s team meeting, I thought on reflection on Saturday nights game that defensively we were outstanding, it was just awesome what we did but I think that we will be very critical of the amount of ball that we turned over that meant we had to defend with our lives. I think that it was one of England’s greatest ever defensive performances, and that’s what won the game. But in terms of our attacking play we were way off it, there will be some changes for this weekend, it is a very competitive squad and no, there is no chance of any complacency from any of the squad.

Also we have seen the Samoans play, they are top of the group and if we turn over the ball to these guys as we did to the South Africans, we are going to get punished. So it is going to be a pretty tense week, we are going game by game. We are going to make one or two changes and I promise you there will absolutely be no complacency especially after today’s team meeting and training session.

AT: A rare thing happened yesterday, Eddie Jones complimented the England team yesterday and I think he meant it.

CW: I just want to thank all these coaches and players for all their feedback, it is excellent to get all this feedback via the media, we read it all and take it on board, and we just want to say thanks for all the feedback we are getting.

AT: We are over here for what could be eight weeks, what do you do for relaxation?

CW: I think that it is important that you work hard and play hard in terms of everything that you do, there is a lot going on but you plan your week with a bit of down time and I try and get off to the golf course and I have planned that into Friday afternoon. Apart from that it is just full on, there is just no time. Even in the evenings I like to meet with a couple of the players for a cup of coffee and a chat about things, or any of the staff in fact the medical staff or coaches.

It is just these small one on one meetings that take a lot of the time but that is part of the job that I enjoy. The best way of coaching a player is just sit down, one on one and talk, as opposed to the team meetings. There are not enough hours in the day but I do like to try and get one slot a week where you can say that is the time when I am on my own, no phones, no nothing, just get away and close your mind for a few hours.

AT: You obviously watch a lot of videos in preparation for this game against Samoa, will you watch them play several games before you decide tactics?

CW: We always put a video together for the team, it is very straight forward, one day we will look at what Samoa do defensively and the next day will look at what they do when they have got the ball. It is as simple as that, we do a lot of homework. But a lot of the homework that we do is just for ourselves, Phil Larder, Andy Robinson and myself, which allows us to coach in a certain way.

We don’t sit down and show the players endless videos that would just drive them nuts, it drives us nuts going through endless videos, but it is our job to impart one or two key messages to the team and no more than that or you just get bogged down with it. It is ok for me and the other coaches spending hours on it but we don’t want the players spending hours on it, they have got to get themselves fresh and perform in the various training sessions and then switch off totally and get their minds and bodies in the best possible shape for Sunday night.

ENDS

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