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Premiership Rugby

Clive Woodward update – After Uruguay

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

AT: Danny Grewcock was injured last night, are you sending for a replacement?

CW: It is not a replacement yet but Simon Shaw is flying out as a precaution. Danny has broken his hand but will have further x-rays this morning, once we have seen that we need to notify the Rugby World Cup offices as they have got to approve that decision. At the moment it is just a precaution that Shaw is flying out and we are getting him out as soon as we can because we also have a slight injury to Martin Corry. So with the knockout stages coming up we needed to make a quick decision last night. So it is not official yet because we have got to get approval from the Rugby World Cup.

AT: Iain Balshaw was stretchered off last night is he alright?

CW: It was slight ligament trouble to his ankle, the medical team are very positive and he is very positive, they brought him off on a stretcher but he wanted to walk off so it is not as bad as it seemed at the time but we just don’t know yet. These games are coming round very quickly now, and the quarter final is not a game that you take any risks with your players, we hope he is going to be alright but we won’t really know that for 48 hours.

AT: Uruguay put up a little bit of a resistance at times but really England looked awesome, that must give them confidence going into the quarters.

CW: Definitely, it has been a good week here on the Gold Coast, we came for some relaxation and the players played with a smile on their face last night. We knew that the Uruguayans would be a handful, they have got some forwards that are professional players but we knew that if the England back division got some ball and played correctly we could have a good night. I think that everyone has to be very pleased, we have got back to the style that we are used to playing, we had a lot more width to our game. Catt, Abbott and Grayson played very well in the midfield and overall I am very pleased and I think those players watching from the sidelines would also have taken a lot out of it. Our preparations are right on plan and we are looking forward to going to Brisbane which will be away from the holiday atmosphere where we have been and now the serious business starts, you get into a city hotel with no more beaches, no more sun.

AT: Last night there was a possibility that you could have faced the All Blacks, were Wales that good or were the All Blacks that bad?

CW: I think that it was both. I think that Wales would be very pleased with the way that they played especially in the forwards, I thought that they really took it to the All Black team, especially in the scrum and lineout. It is just one of those things when you are totally written off you can just go out and play that way – Wales were just fantastic. For the All Blacks I think that it can happen, it is the first time that the All Blacks have played against a serious side and they were not at their best. I was watching the game and I was thinking, if we play the All Blacks, we play the All Blacks, we can’t legislate for this but we have ended up playing Wales. Wales will take a massive amount out of that game, they will be hugely upbeat about it and the chances of playing England in the quarter final makes it a huge game for both sides. I thought that Wales were magnificent last night and they will have every chance of providing a similar performance against England this weekend.

AT: A hundred and eleven points for England does mean that the Nick Duncombe Memorial Fund is quite a bit better off courtesy of Zurich, so whatever anyone says about arrogant England there is a good purpose about scoring points.

CW: No that is good, we are not an arrogant team. I was disappointed with what Joe Worsley did when he walked off the pitch when he had been yellow carded and he got both barrels from me, as soon as I walked in the changing room door I couldn’t get to him quick enough. He made an error but apart from that we are not an arrogant team, this is probably the least arrogant group of people that I have ever worked with. So Joe’s action didn’t help with all the various people who are too ready to put the boot in over here. But generally we have just got to take it and move on, Joe made an error and that is it. As far as scoring points we are fully aware of what Zurich are doing with the Duncombe Memorial Fund, it is a fantastic effort on their behalf. My thoughts are often with Nick, he was a great player, and hope that he is looking down and enjoying what we are doing at the moment.



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