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Give Samoa the £10,000′ says Woodward

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

"I hope that the IRB hands over the £10,000 [$17,000] to the Samoan Rugby Union because I think that they deserve it more than any other team that I have seen here so far," Woodward told zurichpremiership.com.

"They have been outstanding, and they were outstanding before we played them, and my respect for them, especially Michael Jones and John Boe, their coaches, is immense.

"Their line is that they didn't want anything to tarnish what was a great game of rugby and they were clearly being put under a fair amount of pressure to say something and they wouldn't have anything to do with it.

"They said that it was a storm in a teacup and England had probably done what many other teams had done but they didn't want to be involved. So my thanks goes to them, that's what World Cups are about, supporting other teams."

England received this punishment on Thursday in Sydney after a four-hour disciplinary hearing led by International Rugby Board (IRB) judicial officer Brian McLaughlin, but Woodward is determined not to let the media storm knock England off their stride.

"You have to take all these things your stride," he said. "Obviously all sorts of things can happen in a World Cup, that is why I brought a lawyer with me.

"I think we have taken it in our stride and handled it very, very well. We have a very strong group of people here and I have spoken to the team, and with Martin Johnson especially, and I made it very clear that this was not meant to distract them.

"I am just glad that it is over, it has been a distraction, some serious allegations were made against the team and myself and we have now got to put a line under it, which we fully intend to do.

"This is not going to get in the way of our preparations, particularly the next game which is only 48 hours away.

"It was an extremely fair hearing. I have to say that Brian McLaughlin who is the judicial officer down there conducted it in an exemplary fashion, in fact from the moment we arrived in Sydney things were handled very well and I have no complaints at all, it was extremely professionally run by the World Cup.

"I think that they moved as quickly as they could, to be fair to them. They had to get various reports in from all sorts of people. We are obviously up at the Gold Coast they are down in Sydney and it has happened as quickly as it could, we played on Sunday night, it is not the time thing, it is the fact that it was handled in the proper manner and I have to say that Brian McLaughlin did a very professional job."


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