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Premiership Rugby

Woodward snatches UK coach of the year award

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Woodward received the award from Princess Anne in London, along with four members of his coaching staff. They were presented with the Mussabini Medal, which celebrates the contribution of coaches of UK athletes who have achieved outstanding success on the world stage.

Woodward's assistant Andy Robinson, defensive coach Phil Larder, kicking coach Dave Alred and fitness coach Dave Reddin were all recipients of the award.

The honour caps a remarkable year for England, who after their Six Nations Grand Slam victory went on to record successive victories over New Zealand in Wellington and Australia in Melbourne in June and capped off the year with the Webb Ellis Cup after beating Australia in the RWC Final.

The England coach was then voted as the IRB's Coach of the Year at the International Rugby Board (IRB) Awards held in Sydney in November, after guiding England to 22 wins in their last 23 games.

England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, whose extra-time drop-goal sank Australia 20-17 in the RWC Final, was named the IRB International Player of the Year.

The England RWC squad arrived home in England to a mass of eager fans and rousing applause as captain Martin Johnson stepped off the plane with the Webb Ellis Cup in his hands.

The team are next scheduled to tour central London in two open-topped buses on Monday, December 8, culminating in an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace and a reception with the Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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