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Premiership Rugby

Honorary degree for Clive

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Woodward was a student at Loughborough University in the late 1970s, gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and Sports Science, followed by a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). While at University he captained Loughborough's first XV rugby team, leading them to victory in the British University championship, and coming under the influence of coach Jim Greenwood of Scotland and British Lions fame.

"We are extremely proud of our sports tradition at Loughborough University, and Clive Woodward epitomises the high-achieving alumni that have graduated from this department for over the past sixty years. We are delighted to see the hugely successful achievement of England Rugby under Clive's leadership," said Professor Stuart Biddle, head of the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

In 1979 Woodward joined Leicester Tigers, and the following year gained the first of his 21 England caps. He also toured twice with the British Lions, to South Africa in 1980 and New Zealand in 1983. While working in Australia in the late 1980s, he was captain of the Sydney Premier Grade side, Manly.

Turning his attention to coaching, Woodward successfully presided over Henley RFC during their unprecedented success in the early 1990s. Coaching positions at Premiership clubs London Irish and Bath then followed, and in 1997, during his spell at Bath, he was appointed as England's first-ever full-time professional coach.

In March 2003, England became the Six Nations champions, beating Ireland in Dublin to complete the Grand Slam. Wins against the All Blacks, for only the second time in New Zealand, and the Wallabies, for the first time on Australian soil, followed, and on November 22 he led England to victory against Australia in the Final of the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

Lock Ben Kay and four other members of the England coaching staff – assistant coach Andy Robinson, defence coach Phil Larder, line-out coach Si Hardy and fitness advisor Dave Reddin – are graduates of Loughborough University, and are part of the Loughborough training culture that has made the England side one of the fittest and best prepared in the world.

Kicking coach Dave Aldred is currently registered as a postgraduate student at Loughborough, researching the psychology of kicking and ITV rugby commentators John Taylor and Steve Smith are also Loughborough University graduates.

Woodward, 47, will be presented with his award in 2004.

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